A Coast Guard Cutter . . . or a Luxury Liner?
What kind of lifestyle is appropriate for a mission-minded family? Does God want all Christians to subsist just above the poverty line? Is it OK to live in extreme wealth and extravagance? Or does God have a divine balance economically for each family? An interesting perspective is to remember that we are in a spiritual battle, with eternal souls at stake. As mission-minded believers, we should go through life as if we are on a rescue ship, not a luxury craft. During World War II, the Queen Mary, a huge ocean liner, was converted into a troopship. In Serving as Senders, Neal Pirolo writes: Today the museum aboard the Queen Mary affords a stunning contrast between the lifestyles appropriate in peace and war. On one side of a partition, the tables prepared for high society hold a dazzling array of dishes, crystal and silver. On the other side, one metal tray with indentations replaces 15 dishes and saucers. Bunks, eight tiers high, accommodate 15,000 troops in contrast to the 3,000 wealthy patrons in peacetime transport. To so drastically reconstruct the vessel took a national emergency. The survival of a nation depended upon it. Should you replace your china with metal trays? No! But allow the Holy Spirit to challenge every aspect of your lifestyle. “You may say to yourself, ‘My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.’ But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth.” DEUTERONOMY 8: 17– 18 (NIV)
A Few Startling Financial Facts
• More money is spent each year on chewing gum than on world missions.
• Every fifty-two days more money is spent on pet food than is spent annually on missions.
• The US poverty level is in the top 4 percent of world family income.