Thank you to those who are praying for me

I will begin working in Tanzania 3 weeks from today.

I feel deeply thankful to all who have given to make it possible for me to work with Liz and Eric in Tanzania. As of today, $9,313 of the $9,706 has been given.

I wanted to share some thoughts I had the other day, which reveal a place in me that needs prayer.

I was listening to a missionary speaking about some of the work they had been doing in Ghana, and he said something like, “We are thankful to have more Ghanaians on staff at the hospital now…”

I winced.

Then, I asked myself, “Wait, why would you wince at that? That is wonderful news!”

I thought about it, and realized that I am worried by the fact that many struggling nations are increasing in ability to address their own problems. I am worried, because if they do not need me, I will lose my easy ticket to being thought of as a saint.

Normally, to be considered a saint, you have to be a good person in the day-in, day-out mess of personal interactions. You have to develop habits of charity, wisdom, humility, and courage. That means consistently being a little more giving than you were the day before, a little more humble than you were the day before, etc. It is so hard that I often think it will never happen.

Unfortunately, some part of me thinks I have found a loophole. It’s like I have said, “Wait, look! If I just go serve those who are suffering in a country far away, people will think I am a saint! And they won’t see my everyday life, so it won’t matter too much if I have actually done the hard work of developing virtue!”

It is pretty disturbing to see this going on inside of me. If this motive continues to grow, it will overpower my more noble desire to help those who are suffering, and then any good I do will be only a by-product of my self-glorification scheme. I am not afflicted by false modesty here. Knowing myself, I see that this really could happen. Therefore I titled this post, “Thank you to those who are praying for me”. If I was more deeply aware of God’s love for me, it seems that I would be less hungry for the praise of others, and less driven to prove to them that I am a saint. Thank you, to any who might pray that I would be more deeply aware of God’s love for me.

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