When I lived at home with my parents, there was one thing I took notice of some mornings. This little bird would come and sit on my windowsill and sing. I would open my window curtain and sigh, then say, “My freedom has come to me this morning.” Life is a bit more oxymoronic than that. Freedom comes from Christ, and when you take this freedom, your life is not your own, and you become like a willing slave for Christ.
While living this sacrificial life for Christ, one issue that God dealt sharply with me about was self-righteousness. I was walking around like those Pharisees and didn’t even know it; it was not easy to see because it was buried. Well, now I understand that the only ‘Good’ in me is the God that lives in me, and Christ is the one that cleanses me.
True “Know”ledge is Spiritual, and it comes from God. I know what God allows me to know, which is in His Word. Without this, my paradigm becomes distorted; my understanding begins to cloud my vision. Evil and good become gray. I began to believe I am capable of knowing what is good or evil, right and wrong, and I become my own god. Jesus said that only God is Good (Luke 18:19). We know there is a worldly type of good and true Good, which is of God.
I remember pondering the world’s general definition of good and evil. I realized I had all these programmed ideas about the meanings of these words. Although some of my beliefs were in the Bible, which shows that God’s law is woven into creation (Romans 2:14, 15). I understood that my reason for believing some things were wrong or right evolved from my default state, a personal conviction, or religious or cultural conditioning. Innate instincts do not always align with the Bible, and the reason for believing is not Bible-led. I needed to connect with my Righteous God and find out what is Spiritually right.
One wrong thing I thought was right was selling Jesus, the Gospel, Spiritual Gifts, His Word, or a testimony. I fell into this because I added to the Word of God, which Christians do a lot. I saw scriptures like a laborer is worthy of his hire but didn’t put all the pieces together. I was twisting scripture to validate my personal belief. After a careful study of scripture, I began to see things more clearly. The Bible provides guidance here. Selling God does not fall into a matter of opinion category.
Can people receive money for Godly work? Yes, but this should not be done in the secular way many Christians do this. Remember that Jesus offered us life and spiritual growth freely, and He does not force us to pay a certain amount of money. Jesus did not say, “Okay, I will give you eternal life, but you have to pay me $25.00”. Since we are followers of Christ, we should emulate him. Jesus said: “Freely ye have received; freely give. (Matthew 10:8). In Acts 8:18-22, we see a man named Simon wanted to buy the Gifts and power of the Holy Spirit. The disciples shamed him and told him to repent. Yet, some indeed sell Spiritual creations and Gifts given by the Holy Spirit so that others can “buy” them.
Now, ministry never stops, no matter what you do. However, if you create a work or offer a service to spread the Gospel, teach our eternal family, or strengthen them, should we put a price tag on it? Should we merchandise the Gospel or Spiritual help?
If people want to go to a Christian stage play and hear what God has for them, should they have to pay a fee before they can here the message? A free will offering could be collected though. Should people have to pay for a film that is meant to lead them to Christ or strengthen the Church? Should they be forced to pay for a Bible, Christian conference, sermon, prayer, or a Biblical counseling session? Well, God is not a business. This is like a church charging people to come to a church service or you telling people they will need to pay a fee before you pray for them or share Christ. We can’t say some Spiritual work is okay to merchandise and not others. If people can sell a Spiritual book, they can definitely charge a person a fee before they witness. It might seem funny, but this is just an example to help people discern this matter. Many people who say they’re Christians, specifically those from the US and other developed countries, have this default fleshly setting to sell God instead of just accepting freewill donations.
And what if someone doesn’t have the money? Do they not deserve what God gave to you to share with others because they lack the funds? This is not Christ-like. Are you actually attempting to block Godly help? There is no way to Biblically rationalize merchandising Spiritual things. As I always say, thank God He still us in our weak state.
In the Word, we see that free will giving reigns. God does not force us to pay him money before he gives us spiritual insight. The constant theme is to give what is on your heart. (2 Corinthians 9:7)(Exodus 25:1-2)(Deuteronomy 16:10). Should we demand more from people than Christ?
Understand that I am not against supporting workers in various ways. God is clear on this matter, but things should be done properly. Let’s break this down. We see that local churches should support pastors/elders or traveling missionaries (nomadic seed planters) working among them as we see in (1 Corinthians 9:11-14) (Galatians 6:6) (1 Timothy 5:18) etc. Your physical or financial donations to your church help support leaders, expenses, and other church work like evangelism and helping poor members like widows.
That is Good, but your giving may not end there. Of course, we personally give to the worldly needy. And, remember that all Christians are a part of Christ’s body (1 Corinthians 12:12-27), so we can help others doing God’s work, like a Christian author, artist, or ministry who offers spiritual things freely. We can do this by offering our Spiritual Gifts, talents, or a physical or financial donation. (Proverbs 3:27) (Proverbs 11:25) (Luke 6:38). If we assist, this could make it easier for people to produce more works or help more people.
We also know that if we benefit from a ministry, we should try to help in whatever way you can. But some Christians do not help or don’t know any better; they just take. This does not mean one should stop doing the right thing and start charging a set fee to minister. Keep the Faith and I’m not just talking. I face this myself sometimes. But God is instilling Spiritual contentment in me and is showing me how to live luxuriously yet simply without the need of a lot of money. I will not start merchandising Christ due to others lack of generosity.
God is the most powerful being in and out of this world, and if you think he cannot help you with your ministry or a spiritual project that is for Him, then you are relying on your flesh and lack faith.
I remember when I didn’t think about stuff like this and just did whatever, but God has given me this very reflective mind where I constantly put my actions and thoughts through a Spiritual filter.
I know I am not the only Christian that has dealt with this because I hear quite a few Christians talk about what is right and wrong, but it seems to be from a human perspective sprinkled with a misused scripture or two. When we let go of this fleshly hindrance, and look to God for direction, we can move on from this issue.
But, of course, there will always be other issues while we are on this earth as the enemy is always attacking ‘Christ’s Bride.’