Today we got an email that indicated someone was coming off of our financial support team. They supported us at $200 per month. I am still trying to get to the bottom of this, because it appears they didn’t intend to stop giving, and it is very possibly a computer glitch in Orlando at our headquarters.
Either way… those emails are always a good idolatry indicator for me. I’ll be honest and say I even went so far as to yell at my wife as a result of that email. I trust in money way too often. More accurately, I trust in control. If I can control the situation, I am good to go. And money in a bank account is a good way to have a sense of control.
Any time I feel in control of a situation, though, it’s an illusion. All it takes is a crisis to show that. When a gunman enters a classroom, all the folks who were in control no longer are. When a hurricane hits, you realize that no matter how big you are, you’re still pretty small…
All of that to say that “control” is a fickle and shifty idol to chase after. But I do it all the time.
It got me thinking, as I confessed my sin, that I sometimes think things are biblical just because they are American. I was listening to the Dave Ramsey Show podcast in the car earlier and started to fantasize about leaving staff and getting a job where I could support my family without having to rely on others to support us. After all, it’s in the Bible that we should take care of our families, and that we should work, and that handouts are bad.
Wait, maybe not all of that is in the Bible. Support raising is all over the Bible. It’s how God has funded his work since the very beginning. It’s thoroughly biblical, and thoroughly un-American. And so while I am right in line with the word of God when I pick up the phone and call folks for support, I am paddling upstream in the culture. We are a culture that values independence (have been since the ’70s… the SEVENTEEN 70’s) and the thought that my business is my business, not yours. ESPECIALLY when it comes to my wallet.
If I were to leave staff, I’d just be feeding the idol of control. I’d work 90 hours a week and be a millionaire by the time I retire, sure. But I’d be running from where I am confident God has called me. He’s called me to reach students with the gospel. To tell them that even though they incessantly run from him and trust in things other than him, He died to set them free.
Just as surely as I am confident God has called me to breathe life into a dying college culture, I’m confident He’s called others (like you. Yeah, you…) to “hold the rope” financially and prayerfully for me. There’s not an email I could receive that would change that.