During a trip to Latin America where we minister, I spent time in the Epistles of Paul. Paul dealt with certain things in the church that concerned (bothered) him, and he expressed these concerns through the Holy Spirit in his long letters to the churches.
I began to ponder things that have bothered me . . .
Over the years, I have had a tendency to idolize and put leaders on pedestals, especially missionaries. I have looked up to these men and women who “gave up all” to serve the Lord Jesus no matter the cost.
As I have gotten older, I see and hear these same missionaries saying and doing things that seem to be of the same belief system with the desires and lifestyles of the world instead of a desire and passion to reach the world with the gospel!
In reading their letters, articles, and listening to these heroes of mine, their emphasis seems to have changed. The discussions are of longing for retirement, an ownership of a house in their homeland, spending more on hobbies in a week than pastors make in Africa and Asia in a year, spending more time on buying or selling to make a few bucks on the side than time in ministry, and continual complaint of lack of funds.
It has also been discouraging to see missionaries make their calling of God subservient to their children and grandchildren, as well as evangelical, Bible-believing missionaries, flaunt an ostentatious lifestyle. It is one thing to have money, but flaunting it on expensive dogs, cars, clothing, and jewelry!