I was happily skimming past this verse this morning when God stopped me.
I don’t pay anyone’s wages, and certainly not those of any farmers, I was thinking subconsciously, but God reminded me that, indirectly, I do.
Some of you will know that I’ve been thinking a bit about the clothing industry since some friends of mine were so convicted by the conditions of workers in the clothing factories of Bangladesh that they gave away all their clothes and committed themselves to only wearing things they knew had been produced fairly (you can read more here).
I haven’t been that extreme, but I have given them some seed funding for their new company, Visible Clothing, and have been giving more thought to where I buy clothes from, to make sure that I’m not contributing to oppression of workers through my own greed (because wanting to pay no more than £3 for a tshirt when I can quite easily afford more is nothing less than greed).
Buying Fairtrade goods is easier than ever these days. It might be a bit more expensive, but if we don’t do it when we can, we are effectively the same as the landowners of James’ day, failing to pay adequate wages to those who work for us.
I don’t know about you, but I found that quite convicting.