By Chuck Bentley
One evening, a pastor friend of mine arrived at his house about 30 minutes before members of his church were coming over for a Friday night Bible study. When he entered his home, his wife was in tears; the electric company had just shut off all power to their home for past due payments on their monthly bill, and they did not have the money to get it turned back on.
The pastor did some quick thinking and came up with a plan to have the Bible study “by candlelight” to cover for his embarrassment. He explained to me that all during the study he could hardly pay attention because of the shame he felt inside. He had disappointed his wife, his children, and now he felt his congregation would discover that he had never been able to manage his finances well.
He resolved before the Lord on that night to learn how to manage his finances and to honor his family in a new way. He began looking for resources to teach him how to create a budget, how to pay off his debt, and how to honor God through his stewardship. He chose Crown’s small group study and took a group in his church through the 10-week course. He confessed to his group his own struggles and vowed never to be a hypocrite again by hiding his financial troubles.
I had no idea of the powerful story bound up in the life of this pastor who served side by side with me as my translator when I taught in Brazil. Today, it has been 8 years since that painful candlelight Bible study. My translator friend is debt free, his family is thriving, and his ministry is full of life-changing fruit from those he serves.
Originally posted 7/30/2015.
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