As I’ve been raising support for my internship with Campus Crusade for Christ, I’ve encountered lots of roadblocks along the way. My extended family has been a challenge. Some have said things like, “You need to seek some independant financing if you wish to meet your goals” and “I think this is great, if that’s what you want to do with your life” (this one twice from two different people). It’s hard to hear those things from people I love. I makes me think that they think I am wasting my life. They think, and I am purely drawing implications from what they’ve said, that I am taking a year off by working with college students, begging for money, or perhaps something worse, not listening to “God’s will” as I choose to do this instead of “work for a living.”
I am not wasting my life. My passion to see college students know Jesus Christ is so great. What greater passion can there be in the world but to share Christ with people? I want to talk to others about Jesus and let God work on their hearts. I don’t know what will happen this year. All I know is that I’ve been called to be a minister of the gospel on the UNL campus for one year and I’m going to give it all I’ve got. I’m reminded of what the Apostle Paul said in Romans 10:14-15.
But how are they to call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent.
I am being sent to preach the Word to the unsaved, spiritually-dead UNL students. That’s my call for this chapter of my life and I’m not going to ignore it.
The other part of this battle with family is, of course, the money issue. Some people feel like I’m just not working and asking for money because I’m too lazy to get a job. Now, most people are giving–and most of the Christians in my family are giving. But there are still Christians who are giving but say things that just make me shake my head and say, “Did they really just say that?” Some think I’m raising (and consequently making) too much money. They think I’m going about it the wrong way. They think I’m embarassing people when I ask for more support–or even a little at all.
One thing I’ve noticed through the whole process: The people who say those things love their money. They are the only ones making excuses because they feel guilty they aren’t giving or aren’t giving enough. If some family think I’m crazy for doing this, I can’t imagine what some random person I don’t know who’s not a Christian thinks.
In Luke 12:15, Jesus said: “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” As I reflect on this verse, I see that Jesus goes on to talk about making lots of money and hence, treasures on earth. Since I’ve begun this support-raising process, all that’s on my mind is how I don’t need much stuff and how I hate the stuff I have and how I can live with less and how I want to give what money I make away to other people and ministries. I would recommend reading Luke 12:13-21. In that passage, the man who stores up treasure on earth died and God said to him, “Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be? So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”
I tell you, I do not want to ever hear the word “fool” come out of God’s mouth directed at me. That is what God calls everyone who stores up their treasure on earth.
I’m making not that much money and I can say, to the glory of God, a lot of it is going to other people’s support and other ministries. That’s not pride to say that. That’s God’s glory coming out of my income.
What does it mean to be rich toward God? It means that we make money so that we can use it in a way that the world can see that money is not our treasure and Christ is. That’s what I will do with my income, for God’s glory and for my sake.