I won’t lie. I was a little disappointed that not many churches did anything for National Orphan Sunday this year. Looking around in our own town and on Sermon Audio there is hardly anything. In my mind I know that churches' schedules are hectic this time of year and it seems there is a lot being thrown at the congregation financially speaking as well with Thanksgiving and Christmas right around the corner. I would still love to see more church families really gain a passion for orphans and impact the lives of many orphans around the world. I’m not really gifted with inspiring people to get behind a cause, but if ever there was a cause to rally around, I would think orphans would be at the top of the list over any building project or anything else on which anyone can spend money. It is so hard to plead or convince anyone to see things this way and I'm slowly burning out from trying.
Many of you know I am a Personal Finance professor at a University and I also help manage the finances at our church and academy as well. Because both of my “careers” deal with finances and money, I often think of the passages in the Bible like Luke 12 where it says to sell your possessions and give to charity. It says to store up treasures in heaven where moths and rust cannot corrupt. In verse 34 it says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” I would argue, where your heart is, that is where the majority of your money and time is spent. It all boils down to priorities.
Are orphans a priority or are they not? If Christians and Bible believing churches are not consciously making an effort to care for orphans, who is going to do it? One way to care for orphans is financially. Support families who are adopting. Why are there not more families coming forward to adopt? I will answer that question based upon my experience on the subject. Most people do not have the means to pay for an adoption. Why do more families not have means to pay for adoptions? The hearts of Christians are not being moved to compassion the way they should be toward adoption. Those who do not feel called to adopt are not giving sacrificially to those who are called to adopt.
Randy Alcorn recently gave this challenge on his Facebook page: Many who say, “I have nothing to give,” spend large amounts of discretionary income on cars, clothes, coffee, entertainment, phones, computers, and so on. They have nothing to give when they’re done spending, precisely because they’re never done spending.
God commanded over and over in Scripture for Christians to care for the orphans. Sadly, most Christians ignore this commandment. No one acknowledges that it is not God’s plan for orphans to waste away their lives in orphanages. I also do not believe it is God’s plan for Christians to get deep in debt for adoption while other Christians spend their money on luxuries such as thousand dollar purses and designer clothing. That purse and those designer clothes are going to get old, dirty and wear out. Someone may even steal your purse from you while you shop at the mall for your designer clothes. We don't get to take our possessions with us when we die! So is it really wise stewardship of God’s money to spend money like that? We all have this sense of entitlement. “I deserve this. I earned it.” This is because of our sinful, superficial, selfish flesh. If I am even tempted to waste large amounts of money, I remind myself of Christ’s example. The Son of Man often slept on a rock in the wilderness and often went without even basic necessities such as food and water. He busied Himself and spent any earthly resources He had on eternal things. He knew life on earth was a vapor and there was an urgency to accomplish God’s perfect plan with His life. We have all got to stop wasting our earthly resources and start directing those resources to the things of God—eternal things. The needs of orphans are great around the world. We are just caught up in living our entitled American dreams that we can't see the needs.
(I just want to add that there some in our church that have a burden as well and are working hard on behalf of the orphans. They probably feel weary as well about the lack of passion for adoption. I don't know what the answer is. We can't slap passive, superficial people across the face and say "Hey, wake up!!!!!"....Can we? Just kidding. In all seriousness, we can only continue to pray hearts are moved. Christians have got to respond to the Holy Spirit eventually.)