As I drove through the rural area en route to my speaking event this weekend something gnawed at my soul. It was money. I knew I was going to be given some form of payment, but I hate dealing with honorariums and speaking fees. Quite honestly, it makes me feel like like I'm prostituting God's word. At the same time, this is how I make my living and I want to accept the blessings of others who appreciate my time. The pendulum swings back and forth on this issue and I vacillate on how to handle this quandary. So I called my mentor who succinctly said, I need to be direct: God's word is free, but gas isn't. Your time and knowledge is worth something. You didn't ask for a specific amount, so just trust that they'll give you what they can afford.
When I left they handed me a beautiful basket full of lovely items... and an envelope with a check. But it was if I was Superman and the white envelope was kryptonite. I couldn't touch it.
Yesterday at the small group study I teach, I ran into a young lady who moved away to school but came into town to visit us. As a student of Biblical Studies and Evangelism, she's like an amazing cross-breed between Joan of Arc and Billy Graham... except really pretty. Everyone squealed when she entered the room because she has a presence that warrants excitement and joy. After the study ended, we got a chance to connect and she shared that she had a large school payment due at school today, she had no idea how she was going to come up with the money, but she trusted God would provide.
Nothing has changed from the days of Acts or the Early Church. We are still called to help those in need, weep with those who weep, and rejoice with those who rejoice. In modern vernacular, pay it forward. This is not motivated by President Obama and sharing a piece of the pie. This is loving like we are called to love. So pay it forward today. Do unto others as you would like to be done. Blessed be the name of the Lord.