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Posts Tagged ‘missionary’

There is a bottom line truth here: if a person sacrifices his/her time, dedication, and/or expertise for the sake of others, he/she deserves to be compensated or, at the very least, receive some benefit for that service. They shouldn’t have to ask.

I Corinthians 9:10b
. . . the plowman ought to plow in hope, and the thresher ought to thresh in expectation of partaking of the harvest.
[Amplified]

In the 9th chapter of Corinthians, Paul is really letting them have it for not supporting materially, the very people who brought light into their dark place. I’m not even sure he’s talking just about himself, although he does sound pretty feisty in these passages. I think he’s addressing a situation that, quite honestly, hasn’t changed much over the centuries. He’s writing about all of those who are sacrificing for the sake of others.

The modern trap is to assume every compensation is financial. I’m not saying that isn’t important. Obviously, in our society, money is essential to accomplishing almost anything. Money pays the bills. Money opens doors. But there are other compensations that have to do with sharing the harvest, the fruit of the venture. Poor people and third world cultures seem to get this while westerners are blinded.

Whatever the task at hand, those who serve and participate in the process should receive a portion of the fruit. It helps connect people, to create unity, and buy-in.

As Jesus and his disciples walked their world, healing and teaching, people opened their homes and shared what they had. It was enough.

If someone works at your restaurant, let them eat. If someone works at your bookstore, let them read or get books cheap. If someone works in your office, let them make copies. If someone takes care of your yard, let them have flowers, seed, or seedlings. If someone cares for your children, let them participate in celebrations. As soon as we work in community, we become part of that community. Each person deserves full respect for the part he/she plays or contributes to the greater effort.

Freely give it so it’s not taken on the sly.

Usually, most people use these passages to rally the believers into sending more and more funds to support missionaries. And I understand that is important. But I tell you, I believe the full participation in that ministry is even more important. The fruit of participation is greater with the gift of time and energy, prayer and communication, advocacy and visits.

It’s a different kind of bartering that we need to re-energize.

God is giving to me all the time. And what do I have that God might want in return? Access to my heart. Participation in my life.

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