Missionaries Don’t Need Your Money
There is a fascinating phrase in 1 Corinthians 9:9 where Paul asks the question: “Is it for oxen that God is concerned?” He is talking about giving and uses oxen an illustration in which they can rightfully be fed by the very wheat they are thrashing. But he makes the surprising application that giving is not for the benefit of the oxen who are working. The farmer is the person who benefits from the work of the oxen. The farmer also benefits from giving to the oxen.
Paul makes a similar statement in Philippians 4:17: “Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit”. Paul wasn’t concerned about his own financial support, he knew that God would care for him. He didn’t need their money. He was more concerned about the benefit that would go to givers.
Missionaries don’t need your money. Before becoming a missionary, they had a job and were providing for themselves and their family, and they could go right back to that if they walked away from their calling. When you give to missions, you are first giving to God and secondly giving so that people around the world can hear the gospel. You are really giving to God and the unsaved. As Pastor Bob Alderman says: “Missionaries make it possible that you are not living in disobedience to God by ignoring the Great Commission.” We need missionaries for our benefit. We are corporately commanded to take the gospel to every person on planet earth, and if missionaries didn’t do that, we would be in trouble with God.
So the next time you see a missionary on deputation… don’t feel sorry for them… don’t assume they are holding a tin cup… don’t assume they need your money. They are not beggars. They are serving you. Giving to missionaries is ultimately for your benefit.
Picture courtesy of www.exclusivemultibriefs.com