Thursday, November 15, 2012

I can do better than this!

A few years ago while on a fundraising appointment, someone offered me a job.

While honored and somewhat surprised, I wasn't at all prepared for what they told me next: what I'd be paid if I accepted. It was a lot. Definitely more than I was making at the time (and still!)

While I did briefly consider it, I decided not to take the offer. (I was already assigned a mission and didn't think God was leading me elsewhere yet.) But the allure of the offer stuck with me for a while. After all, I could certainly use a bigger paycheck! I could save more, give more, help more and enjoy more! Plus, if I accepted, I'd have more free evenings and weekends rather than filling those times with fundraising... where I'm often rejected and ignored by those I'm trying to reach... and I'm only fundraising so that I can spend my future doing ministry... where I'll often be rejected and ignored by those I'm trying to reach...

"I can do better than this," I thought.

However, the truth is that there have been many, many people - far more skilled and vocationally valuable than me - who have turned down fantastic jobs and much higher paychecks in order to serve the Lord Jesus. And many of them did/do fundraising.

There are lawyers, doctors, CEOs, business consultants, real estate agents, software architects, professional speakers, college professors, air traffic controllers, nuclear engineers, physicists, home builders, politicians and countless others who have traded in their status and paychecks in order to share the gospel of Jesus Christ.

So why'd they do it? The Apostle Paul tells us:
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Philippians 2:5-8 ESV)
Jesus deserved more recognition, more pay and more glory than the greatest of all professionals. Yet He emptied Himself. He humiliated Himself. He put on mortal flesh. Then He let us take that flesh from Him on a Roman cross.

So why'd He do it? Paul goes on:
Therefore God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
(Philippians 2:9-11 ESV)
Jesus didn't surrender all rights to glory; He delayed it for something better than this world had to offer.

Fundraiser, you are called to surrender much - just as your Savior did.

You are called to empty yourself so that others might have life in Christ - just as your Savior did.

And someday you will be called to reign in glory - just as your Savior did.

So the next time you find yourself yearning for a high-paying job that promises that you'll never have to empty yourself, remember what your Savior did. And also remember Romans 8:18: "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us." This world's sufferings are small. This world has nothing better to offer.

You can do better than this!