This is a simple enough question: What would you do for money?
Conversation at dinner last night meandered to the story of a past auto show in which a friend of ours had his hair cut and the name of a tire company shaved into the back for a free set of tires. Of course the following question was whether or not any of us would do the same thing. For guys, it isn’t as big of a deal in one sense, since hair grows fast and some might already have shaved or very short cuts. Then, we were enlightened to the fact that the tire company updated the promotion to where a temporary tattoo would be placed on foreheads instead. I guess the haircut was too easy and not really promoting their product (just making people look funny).
I hesitated to answer, because I know where such a conversation could lead. It inevitably declines into the idea that we can be bought, that we can do things against our will. Now, nothing of the things asked in exchange for the tires was sin obviously, but people might take it to that extreme. Let me put it another way. Would these people have done either (shaving their head or placing a temporary tattoo) if the money were not offered? The answer is probably not.
Then again, what other things are we doing right now that we would not if we weren’t paid? Would we take that job as a receptionist? Be security for the parking lot? Try to sell a product to someone else? Though I try not to think of my time in terms of monetary value, sometimes I tend towards it. But the question is still more complicated. For some, money isn’t the determining factor. Perhaps they instead desire the attention.
All this to say, perhaps accepting morally and spiritually unoffensive tasks for money is not wrong. That may be the nature of some work. OR, perhaps we have the idea of work all wrong. Maybe we’re settling for our jobs when we should be determining our vocation by our godly desires and fit into the plan of God for this world. (One of the problems of the way we think is that we approve/disprove based on similarities to approvals we’ve already granted, never considering that our assumptions may be wrong altogether. This results in a house of cards in which the foundation is untenable.)
Personally, if I needed the tires I’d do either promotion.