A Sacrificial Spirit


A few paragraphs of this book keep coming back to me.  Brother Andrew was describing how they had had to tighten their belts after the birth of their second child.  A lady sent him a letter which scolded him for not taking enough from the funds donated for the ministry.  She wrote first of the Scripture which says that the ox grinding corn must not be kept from eating it, then went on to ask several questions.

Did I think God felt less about His human workers?  Hadn’t I better examine myself to be sure that I was not nursing a Sacrificial Spirit?  Wasn’t I claiming to depend upon God, but living as if my needs would be met by my own scrimping?  I remember her close.  “God will send you what your family needs and what your work needs too.  You are a mature Christian, Brother Andrew.  Act like one.”

The line I highlighted rather struck me, since I happen to be a huge believer in scrimping.  So is it wrong for a Christian to scrimp on their own comforts so that they might give more to others?  I have always rather admired a person who did that.  After all, what about the widow’s mite?

What do you think?

Granted, what Andrew was doing was fairly extreme–they were living mostly from the vegetables of their garden while buying very little meat and getting their clothes from the missionary barrels, but they weren’t actually depriving themselves of food or shelter.  So was it wrong?



About dayuntoday

I'm a wonderer. I spend a lot of time mulling, pondering, and cogitating. This is just a place to park some of those thoughts.
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5 Responses to A Sacrificial Spirit

  1. P_Obrien says:

    I think it depends on why you are doing it. If you scrimp out of love, then it is good. If you do it for any other reason, it is not. Love is the touchstone for everything.

  2. BooksForMe says:

    Hmm…I don’t recall that from the book – it’s been awhile since I read it. What was Brother Andrew’s conclusion? Without knowing more, I can’t say if it was a lack of faith, or not, but I can’t help wondering if scrimping is a lack of faith, is splurging a show of faith? I don’t think so. I think it’s being a good steward. However, it really depends on each person, their heart, and what God is doing with them. I think that woman was out of line, frankly. 

  3. homefire says:

    @BooksForMe – He actually was very grateful to her and thought she was right.  Thinking about it more since I wrote this, I wonder if the real problem was that he realized he thought he needed to make those changes after the baby was born, rather than simply carrying on as before, trusting God to provide a bit more.  There is rather a fine distinction there, I guess.  And of course he wasn’t promoting splurging, just a quiet confidence in God.  It’s been good for me to think through this one, because it pertains to an attitude of the heart, rather than how much you scrimp, I think.

  4. BooksForMe says:

    Well, Brother Andrew is definitely a man qualified to speak on living by faith. He’s a true hero of the faith, and a man who has been willing to walk by faith for 60 years. I can’t begin to imagine it. Check out the message “Mark of the Beast,” when you have time. The title is a bit misleading.http://www.tscnyc.org/media_center.php?pg=sermonsFor me, fear is a good indicator of where my heart is in a given situation. Am I acting out of fear, anxiety, worry, insecurity, etc.? I think they are all emotions that boil down to unbelief.

  5. homefire says:

    @BooksForMe – Very good point!  And that sermon was wonderful!!    Thank you~

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