I have been going through my files while cleaning out my office. I found this letter that I wrote to faculty colleagues at Hesston College who were celebrating a recent pay raise. My thoughts were shaped by a recent return from a Mennonite Central Committee assignment in rural Mexico. I don’t recall anyone agreeing with my thoughts. Our culture is blind and deaf to this perspective. What do you think?
Before we project our family budgets over the next three years based on what we will be earning, permit me to share some thoughts.
- How will this extra money make us “poor in spirit” (Matt. 5: 3)?
- How will these extra dollars make us “mourn and meek” (Matt: 5: 4 & 5)?
- How will the extra material wealth make us “hunger and thirst after justice” (Matt. 5: 6)?
- How will more spending power make us “merciful” (Matt. 5:7)?
Can we afford the extra “spiritual” burden receiving this extra money places on us? Are we “spiritually” capable of being better stewards of God’s money?
Should we compare our salaries with other similar institutions or with the workers who live in the trailer park just a few blocks away?
I, too, feel a budget crunch at home. But I have no notion of hunger, of nakedness or of homelessness. I pray that we can examine the reasons we so eagerly accept more of what loving so dearly is the “root of all evil” (I Tim. 6:10 and Heb. 13:5)