Not for Profit, Not for Charity, But for Service!

“Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.”      John 12:5-6 (KJV).

Credit Unions do recognize the need to be charitable and to assist the poor.  However, charity is not our mission. The mission of credit unions is to render quality service and to provide affordable financial products to its members. Credit unions should aim to become the preferred choice for financial services. Profit is not the primary motivation, rather it is only a means to accomplish the mission of providing services and returning gains back to members. Members then reap benefits through lower interest rates, better products and delivery channels, and reasonable dividends.  A focus solely on high margins could result in mission failure.  In addition, credit unions are not beholden to shareholders.  Therefore, the long-term values of thrift, service, and sustainability are not sacrificed for the short-term strategies of immediate returns.

Judas’ strong desire to profit caused him to lose sight of what he was chosen to do – to serve.  In contrast, Mary the sister of Lazarus was very motivated and thoughtful in rendering her service. There while sitting at Jesus’ feet, she was not careful to open the expensive alabaster box and began to pour the fragrant ointment upon His feet.  However, Judas who held the moneybag as treasurer objected to what he perceived was waste. Rather than using it on Jesus, he felt the ointment should have been sold for a profit and then given to the poor.  Judas utilized the profit motive under the selfish pretext of charity.  Why? Because in reality, he was a thief.  He had no intention of being charitable and every intention of being profitable, but for himself.

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