Monday, March 22, 2010

Is It Okay for a Missionary to Drive a Cadillac?

“For we have regard for what is honorable, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men,” (2 Corinthians 8: 21, nasb).

Several years ago, I arrived in Chicago in the dead of winter to speak at Moody Bible Institute for three days. The school arranged for me to have a rental car, so when I picked it up, the attendant said, “Good news! You have been upgraded to a luxury car at the same price!”

I walked to the parking lot and saw the black Cadillac Escalade, and it was beautiful! However, I told the attendant I could not take it; I would have to stay with the simple Chevy Malibu.

He exclaimed, “Sir, you don’t understand, it’s free. There is no extra charge at all!”

I responded, “I’d like to drive the Cadillac. In fact, I enjoy cars very much, but I will not be able to take it.”

The attendant still did not understand so finally in my frustration I said, “I am sorry, but I am speaking at a Bible School and will be challenging the students to give their lives to Christ serving Him among the needy of the world with the Gospel and compassionate care. It would not be good for me, even though it is free, to drive a Cadillac Escalade when I am asking young people to live sacrificially.”

The attendant still did not understand, but went ahead and gave me the less expensive rental car, a Chevy Malibu. As I walked out of the building toward the car, I turned and saw the attendants shaking their heads at me ― this crazy, older man who would not take the Cadillac even though it was free.

That week as I drove professors, staff, and students to various places, I was relieved that I did not have to explain why I was driving a Chevy. We were able to concentrate on the things of God, not on the distracting thoughts of why I, a missionary, was driving a Cadillac.

There is a saying used by some, “Others may, you cannot,” in reference to those in Christian ministry regarding what we can or should do. Layman and the rich can drive whatever they like, but those of us in ministry, need not and should not, but be “…honorable, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men,” (2 Corinthians 8: 21, nasb).

1 comment:

Corinne said...

Great reminder. Thank you. And thank you for all you do.