21 And the king of Sodom said unto Abram, Give me the persons, and take the goods to thyself. 22 And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lift up mine hand unto the Lord, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth, 23 That I will not take from a thread even to a shoelatchet, and that I will not take any thing that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich: 24 Save only that which the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men which went with me, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their portion.
Sometimes you do something simply because it’s the right thing to do, which makes it a holy act, unless you later accept a worldly reward for it. This was the case with Abram when he rescued his nephew Lot. He was lifting his hand “unto the Lord,” and did not want to tarnish the sanctity of the moment by turning it into an exchange of monetary wealth for services rendered.
Ten years ago I was having trouble with an external hard drive, and I asked the owner of an internet café if he knew anything about them. He spent twenty minutes working on it, then came back with the hard drive installed in a new enclosure and working perfectly. When I asked him how much I owed him he just shook his head and said “not everything has to be for money.” And just like that, an ordinary business transaction instead became a moment of kindness that I will never forget.
There is nothing wrong with running a business and making a profit, but there’s something about acts of service and kindness that makes the inclusion of money immoral.