Boring Holiness: Unknown Laboring .... Providing for Self and Family

Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior (1 Timothy 2:1-3)

Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. (Ephesians 4:28)

We have laborers at the house today (continuation from yesterday). Two younger men (one is 42, the other I gather from his HS graduation of 1994 would be about 38) are installing carpet in out lower walk-out level. I was just downstairs talking to them and asking about their business. I hope to give each a Gospel of John later today when they are finished. Image source

Over the last year I've seen some disturbing things among some who are "called" to the ministry. Here's a partial list:

  • A lack of what I would call worldly ambition to provide for ones own self and family. (1 Corinthians 7:33, "But he who is married cares about the things of the world—how he may please his wife.) The English word - "world" is the Greek κόσμος - that same nasty word used in 1 John 2:15, "Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him". For some the 1 John 2:15 truth has been driven home without the counterbalancing truth of 1 Cor 7:33. There's some pretty unexciting things in life ... like having decent brakes and tires on the car you and your wife drive. Or heat and light for the house, and paying taxes, and saving for emergencies and saving for the day when one cannot work.
  • A dependence upon others gifting to meet one's needs. Examples:
    • Not having adequate or even any medical insurance, and then when the need comes, the government has to step in or the hospital and / or Doctors have to write off or dramatically reduce the bill.
    • I recently received a prayer letter from a missionary asking for donors to pay for their adult child's education at a private (read that Bible) college. What ordinary Christian can send a letter out asking for donors to pay for their adult-child's education? None!
  • Leaving a financial mess behind. Anyone who bought a house in 2005 or 2006 is likely underwater on his mortgage. There are programs in place to help homeowners - see HASP . I am  aware of a young man "called" to (not naming the foreign place) who basically walked away and moved away from his mortgage to have the home short-sell to be free of the financial obligation.  
  • One last peeve with a introductory explanation. Last year a friend from church explored a mission field in South America. We contributed a small amount (as I recollect $ 100) to help them finance their trip. As it turned out, after examining the field, the husband and wife decided it was not the Lord's leading. This couple is in their mid-thirties. I have no regret helping in a minor way to pay for their trip. We've done this a handful of other times as well: a couple visiting Brazil, a single woman spending nearly a year in Israel, et cetera. In all of these cases the persons had some sort of Bible college or seminary training. They were honest seekers of the Lord's will and we helped out in a minor way. My peeve is with teens asking for money for this summer ministry or the next. Every May or June we receive a handful of such requests. Here's my questions: if you knew you wanted to do this, why didn't you work for a year babysitting, shoveling snow, mowing grass, et cetera to earn one's own way? I would think that a teen could easily earn $ 2,000 in a year for a summer trip. That's how we did it in my youth! Frankly just eschewing a smart-phone for a year would enable one to save enough for such a trip. And then I am peeved about the teen missionary burden for evangelizing youth in Jamaica, New York state, Mexico, or France. Are there no lost young people in Robbinsdale, Elk River, Rockford or Plymouth? I mean why does a teen need to fly half way across the country or to another country to evangelize?!
There is a boring, quiet, nose-to-the-grindstone Christianity and it is often ignored and not celebrated or honored. It is the quiet life of glorifying God by working and earning - paying bills and giving to the Lord's work while providing for self so one is not a burden upon society.

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