So, I officially decided that I have a love-hate relationship with money.
To be honest, for most of my life I have hated the idea of money. Everything we do is confined by a substance that people die over, or waste their life chasing, or horde up (which in turn causes others to die). What a bother! Can't we all just get along, and trade good deeds for good deeds? Share? A Christian form of (dare-I-say-it) communism? Idealistic thinking.... but impossible in the culture we live in. (Whats more is we have seen all to clearly the evils that can come from communistic politics!)
So then what should we do about this money issue?
For the most part, I feel like the Bible teaches that money in general is rather evil. But, in actuality, its simply the love of money that is evil. Which then begs the question, is money itself good?
When I was in high school I remember I wrote my Junior Paper on the issue of whether or not 'In God We Trust' should still be printed on our money. I honestly don't remember what I argued or what I concluded at the end of the paper..... but I have come to appreciate the saying on our bills in a whole new way in the past few months.
In the past weeks I have seen checks pour in from across the United State in order to help send me half way across the world and serve in Africa. It's incredible! A check from a newly wed couple, who don't have any money to their name..... a check from a large family who really don't have much to spare.... an anonymous $500 donation to double the amount that my home-church was able to give. How is this is all possible?
In my last post, I talked about putting little bit of crisis in our comfort. And, to be honest, starting a Simple Way project in LA would definitely be adding crisis to my comfort by fighting luxury. However, I dont think that that is necessary way of fighting comfort for some others (which, again, makes me a little spiteful towards God for calling me to live in that way.... but not others! but since when has God ever made life easy?).... in fact, I think for 100% of the checks I have received up to this point to help send me to Zambia, the crisis for one's comfort came with deciding to give to such a cause.
This is a crazy economy. One day you have a job, one day you dont. There is no spare money. There are no garantees. However, here we all are.... saying 'In God We Trust' and writing checks that we know will need God's guidance in order to get cashed. How incredible is that?!? When I think about my personal financial situation at the moment... I almost want to cry. I have loan repayments to start as of next week, I need a new laptop to bring with me for Zambia (what I thought would be my major source of income over the past weeks has not worked out due to issues with my current laptop!), I have another rent check due in a few weeks, and I still havent officially applied to my grad schools because I don't have the extra $50-100 per application to go with it. On top of that, this past weekend my car broke down, and I had no choice but to let my parents cover the repair cost.
All that, and THEN I get to consider that I am still waiting on God to provide the final $3000 needed to send me to do His will! Wait a minute God, why all this stress?! Shouldn't I hate money right now?!
But that's just it: I don't. And its all because I have seen so clearly in the past months how much God can use money to bless people, or challenge people, or transform them. My faith has grown indubidably as I have sat here and done the math and come to realize that is impossible for me to make ends meet unless something big changes; and yet I am somehow fine with the idea that.... something big is going to change. I don't know what it is, but its coming. And the only way I know its coming is because I am confident that I am walking in the will of the Lord, and thus He will make the path straight. At least that is what He promised.
And so with that, I do hearby declare money as a good thing. A thing that we have to be careful with, a thing that we must consider carefully, but a ministry tool that we all get to have a hand in... one way or another. (Whether we have lots of 'In God We Trust's to read or not!)