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July 24, 2010 / joelmalm

Used Refrigerators

I am going to let you in on a dirty little secret: Missionaries are people too.  They get upset, worried and down right greedy at times.  Yes, it’s ironic that those who depend on God providing for their every need through faithful financial supporters could be that way, but it happens.

It’s always funny to see when a missionary moves just how much they ask for the stuff they are selling.  It usually looks something like this in the advertisements:

Refrigerator (7 years old)             $850              cost $900 new

Believe me, I understand trying to get the most money you can from your stuff.  Moving is expensive.  But really, isn’t the same God who provided for you before the move the one who will provide during the move.

Off my soap box now.  The world is governed by physical and spiritual principles.

The law of gravity says, “What goes up must come down.”

The law of generosity say, “Give and it will be given to you.” (Luke 6:38)

Not a whole lot of need for exegesis in that verse.  Those are the words of Jesus, a man who gave until it hurt.  It’s clear.  If you have needs – be generous.

Spiritual principles are cause and effect.  Your decisions are the cause that brings the effect.  That said, I am going to throw a question out there.

Is it possible that most people get what they deserve?

I know what you are thinking – what about grace?  Yes, I acknowledge that I depend on grace on a daily basis to keep me from receiving the immediate and eternal punishment I deserve.  It is my only hope in a world that I have messed up.  Apart from grace we are all doomed.  But still, our decisions make a difference.

A parent has to step back at times and let their child learn how the world works.  It may require a few cuts and bruises.  God does the same.  To be mature Christians we need to understand the way His world works.  Principles.

We are the direct result of our interaction with spiritual principles.  I don’t know about you, but that forces me to ponder questions like these:

How many of my problems are a direct result of my lack of godliness?

How many of my financial problems stem from my own lack of generosity?

How many of my relational problems stem from my failure to forgive?

At some point you have to realize that you are the common denominator in all of your problems.  Yes, seemingly random things happen.  But most of the challenges we face are delivered to our inbox straight from our outbox.

So, as I pack up my things preparing to return to the United States I am writing this to myself:

Joel, are you going to trust God to provide for your moving just as well as he provided for your everyday needs over the past few years?  Will you trust him instead of taking matters into your own hands?  Will you believe that you are no exception to the principles He put into place in this world?  Let it be Lord, let it be.

By the way, does anyone want to buy a used refrigerator – I’ll give you a great price!

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3 Comments

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  1. Paul Salas / Jul 24 2010 4:53 pm

    Joel

    Thanks for taking the time to write this. I needed to be reminded. Sorry I can’t use a fridge right now. Take care

    Paul

  2. Jonathan Romig / Jul 25 2010 3:08 pm

    Dude. I know how you feel. And when we do actually trust God, usually everything speeds up. For on thing, we sell our fridge at a lot cheaper price then we don’t have to worry about it and it’s on to the next item. I’ve been trying to sell a couch for about six months now. I started at $100, went to $80, $70, $50, and am about to try and sell it for free. But I’ve put so much effort into it for so little value.

    • joelmalm / Jul 25 2010 4:44 pm

      So true! So true! What color is the couch?

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