Honing Economics’ Spiritual Underpinnings

Spirit energizes all of us—either the Spirit of the times or the Divine Spirit. It is the Divine Spirit that creates a different economic story in us from what we hear in the prevailing conversations because she views reality differently and speaks from that different paradigm.

OneEarth economics recognizes the inherent connection between economics and spiritual practice. Current economics suffers from its excessive efforts to disconnect from spirit. David Korten, in launching his book, Agenda for a New Economy, said, “It comes down to a basic question: What purpose do we expect the economy to serve? The answer is ultimately spiritual.” He went on to say that the economy will serve a god, either the God of Life or a god of death.


An example is the practice of Sabbath. Though meaningless or even an obstacle in a 7/24 world of producing and consuming, reinventing Sabbath for contemporary life is an integral practice in Jubilee economics. Even if we do not or cannot make a day of the week our Sabbath, we can plan our weeks so that we have boundaries around work and activity, intentionally opening up space for rest, restoration, relationships, and recreation, intentionally living out their importance.

Sabbath is an act of resistance to the 7/24 lifestyle, making choices not to be “crazy” busy.
Sabbath protests the secularization of all time into productivity. Rest becomes a radical act by knowing the value of unproductive time.
Sabbath creatively reclaims time as sacred, reframing it as a gift of abundance instead of a commodity, as in “not having enough time.”
Sabbath opens up space in our week to re-center in a paradigm of grace and jubilee, moving out of the paradigm of market, producing, and consuming where every minute must count.
The Common Good podcast episode 9 takes up this topic of Sabbath, rest, and renewal in the winter season.

Spiritual Direction

Another example is spiritual accompaniment. It recognizes that our spiritual practice benefits from a relationship whose purpose is to deepen our spiritual path, however we understand it. One resource to call upon is Spiritual Directors International.

Judith Favor is a spiritual guide who has worked a lot with money and spirituality. She’s written A Spiritual Guide to Sabbath Economics: Making Love with Money. Among its strengths are the many questions for use in a small group or for personal guidance—perhaps with a journal in hand. The quotes and brief story-examples add value to this “guide.” For more information, contact Judith.