Confession: For the past number of years I have been ordering books through the internet, putting House of James [HoJ], our local Christian book store and coffee shop, in jeopardy. The owner, Lando Klassen, sees his business as a ministry, employs people from our community, provides a venue for local artists and musicians, and contributes to the well-being of our community. Yet, I have stolen from him by shopping from a nameless, faceless online ordering system.

Justification: It is very convenient. I sit down at my computer, press a few buttons, give them my credit card information and they are delivered to my mailbox. All the books I want are always available from a variety of publishers. The prices are lower. It saves me money so I can buy more books. It’s good stewardship.

Repentance: I just made an order of books from HoJ. I may be able to buy one less book on my annual book budget, but I will have done my part to support an important part of our local community. I try to shop locally for my food, why not extend that to my books? Perhaps stewardship goes a bit deeper than just buying the most convenient for the cheapest price.