Responsibility

The reformers´s re-valuation of marriage brought into focus the responsibility of parents towards their children. Reformation was to a large extent reformation of the family as the core of society and church. A healthy society begins with a healthy family life and that´s why parents, pastors and politicians need to know their responsibilities with respect to family matters.

Responsibility also relates to nature. The reformers opened up the notion that all of nature speaks about God and belongs to Him. This gives us the responsibility to take good care of it. It also means that working with nature whether as a biologist or as a fisherman is just as important as the work of the pastor, for the one works with God’s creation and the other with God´s message but they all deal with God. That is why John Calvin had such high esteem for farmers, for they are in a very special way God’s co-workers, as in their work God’s work is more visible than in that of others.

Sunday and Monday match like a pair of socks.

The same responsibility counts when it comes to money. The reformers upgraded the view of working with money as not something inferior or even sinful, but as a God-given means to make a living and to help one another. Their new views gave an enormous impulse to economic growth, monetary development and a more effective use of funds. Money no longer needed for masses, altars and saints could be used for poor relief and for setting up one´s own business.

The protestant view of economics and work has up until today proven to have a positive effect on economic development in poorer parts of the world. Making more money and creating economic growth is not a goal, but a means and here comes in the value of responsibility. Calvin had nothing against private possession, if only we were ready to share with others, for what we possess did not come to us by chance but was put into our hands. We are not possessors but distributors. We receive to enjoy and to share. And our focus is not success but the aspiration for significance.

Our profession is our calling.

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