How much do we need to make?

By Cassandra Laymon, CFP®, MBA

Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.  ~1 Timothy 5:8

Have you ever considered leaving your full-time, steady job for a life in the ministry? I admire those around me who have made a commitment to a life of service to the church or abroad as missionaries!

I have seen examples of people who felt called to leave their corporate jobs to serve in full-time vocational ministry. In one case, I met a nurse who wanted to become a minister. She took on significant debt to get a degree in theology, with a plan to take a job at the same hospital where she was employed to work on the pastoral team. I’m not going to pretend to know God’s will for anyone, but I do have difficulty believing that God would encourage us to put our family at risk with significant school debt to honor him.  I encouraged this woman to see that in her current role as a registered nurse she had a great opportunity to minister to patients every day! She did not need to incur debt that her future income could not support. She did not want to hear that message and now she will now be paying off that college debt for many years to come. Point is that we all have a unique platform for ministry right where God has planted us.

I’ve been writing a lot this year about learning to live a life of moderation. (I often write about the things I’m working on myself!) Today’s scripture hit home for me regarding my teenage son who is thinking about a career direction. He will be off to college next year and would like to work in the entertainment industry. I know the realities of the hard work and very low pay that will come with that choice. So, we’ve had some hard conversations about the limitations he will face in terms of the kind of apartment and lifestyle he’ll be able to afford, and yes, his ability to take care of a future spouse and children. It’s a very heavy conversation for a 17-year old, but as a financial planner, I can’t help myself! I’m doing my best to help him make good decisions now so that he will be able to live out God’s command to be a solid provider for his future family. I would also like to instill in him now the importance of developing a habit of giving and saving and growing wealth for future needs like retirement and college for his own kids.

The question I’d like you to consider is, “Am I reasonably providing for, caring for and loving the people in my own home?” There are many ways we can be a light to others that cross our path, no matter where God has planted us. Consider the unique abilities God has blessed you with, and look for opportunities to be a beacon of God’s love, first at home, and then with all those you meet.