by Patricia Backora
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I've watched at least one preacher lady on TV psych herself up so much over hungry children that her nose runs as she begs viewers to dig deeper into their wallets to meet their target for TV pledges. Her thick mascara would run till it looked like she had panda eyes. She claimed she found it hard to touch her own dinner plate when she thought of all the little babies of the world who must go to bed hungry every night.
There's much more she can do besides cry. Why doesn't she sell some of her surplus cars and mansions to help John Q. Public raise money for relief projects? One or two modest homes would be sufficient to protect her and her hubby from the elements. Two or three bathrooms per mansion would be more than enough. But they must have so many more. I've seen homeless people sleeping on slabs of cardboard beneath dripping doorways, and they would feel like they'd died and gone to heaven if they could just stay warm and dry for one night. There is only one pie. In order for the rich to squander God's money on such wanton luxury somebody else must live in abject misery.
How about a wardrobe renovation? Off-the-rack dresses would keep that preacher lady just as warm and presentable-looking as designer gowns costing thousands of dollars each. What purpose do all her diamond rings serve except to look glamorous for the camera? Let her sell the sparklers on her fingers to feed the hungry. A great many of God's poor children can barely afford to shop at thrift stores or keep their kids in new shoes.
Her pets doní»t need so much pampering. Other peopleí»s animals endure a little austerity, so why not hers? Let her sell the superfluous pedigreed pooches and ponies and use those funds to feed the hungry!
How about all those expensive holidays? Why can't she be a stalwart soldier of the cross and endure the hardness of an economy seat once in awhile? Why can't she and her entourage stay at a humbler hotel? Jesus was born in a stable. An occasional meal at McDonald's wouldn't hurt her figure too much.
During His earthly ministry Jesus had no certain place to lay His own head at night. He often went hungry. He camped out under the stars and ate on the cheap. Poor travellers do the same to save on hotel bills and restaurant meals. They take either the bus or shoe leather express to get around town.
That TV preacher lady could cut down on cruises to the Lands of the Bible. TV preachers excuse this frequent extravagance by saying they feel much closer to Jesus by visiting the land of His birth, but God isn't fooled. They doní»t earn any extra Brownie points with the Lord, either, by selling group tours. Those crying preachers could use the money saved on first class cuisine to feed the hungry little children who have served them so well.
Let them sell off the yachts they purchased with ministry money and feed the hungry with the proceeds! Better that they not lie to their viewers about what they've done with money other people dedicated to the Lord. Ananias and Sapphira didn't get away with lying about the use of funds.
TV preachers find a ready excuse in their overhead and operating expenses. But they really could do without the fancy woodwork in their palatial office suites. They laugh all the way to the bank while God's humbler children must slave away at menial jobs just to survive. There are many hard-working, poorly paid people out in TV Land who can barely scrape up the bus fare to get to work every day, while these fancy religious celebs flit around in grand style from one dream scene to the next!
When asked about it, they usually claim ití»s their own personal assets being spent on extravagances, not ministry money earmarked for ministry projects. So how can anyone find fault with preachers doing what they want with their own money? The Bible has the answer in I Corinthians 6:19-20: What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore, glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
If this woman really is as heartbroken over world poverty as she claims to be, then she has to wonder sometimes what God thinks of her nine bathroom mansion, her horse farm, her jewelry collection, and all the first class travelling she does. As long as there are millions dying without Christ and dying of hunger, no true believer has the right to live a life of luxury which would have made King Solomon look like a pauper.
The truth is, everything a Christian has belongs to God, and it is only because He is gracious that we have what we need each day. And whenever He enables us to be a blessing to someone else, we should do it. Whether rich or poor, we must avoid the pitfalls of covetousness. That is not to say we must wear rags and starve ourselves. It means, rather, that we must not make it our life's goal to stockpile possessions for ourselves while others are starving and without Christ. If we really do believe what Jesus said, we will believe wholeheartedly that He is the Lord of all we have and that our true treasures are laid up in heaven.
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