Living in a Vampire World

I’ve had better days. Monday morning began with the hopes of a productive week, but first we had to make a quick—or so I thought—exchange at the car dealership. My wife’s car was plagued by an ongoing safety issue and, after significant public pressure, the manufacturer had reluctantly agreed to a recall. After speaking with someone from the repair department at our local dealership, I thought we were on the same page. But when we walked into the building, their reluctance quickly became evident. The car had indeed been recalled but the fix would take several days and require a complimentary rental; they were hesitant to spend the money.

Almost 1 hour and 30 minutes later we were finally talking to the car rental agent who persuasively tried to sell us a $36.99 per day insurance rider. She explained that we really needed the rider since it was “only going to be for a few days.” (I still haven’t quite figured out what difference the length of the rental would have made.) When that effort didn’t work, she dropped the price to $16.99 per day. By that time, I was in no mood to oblige and left frustrated, but somehow also pleased that the 2-hour ordeal ended without me erupting in anger.

photo credit: aldenjewell via photopin cc
photo credit: aldenjewell via photopin cc

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t begrudge a business’s ability to make a profit in exchange for a quality product. After all, that’s the way business works. However, more and more, I feel as though businesses are doing everything they can to milk me for all of my financial worth—which doesn’t feel like much on most days.

I wish I could say that things were entirely different with Christian ministries—that they would always look out for my well-being. Sadly, such is not the case. Thus, I’m terribly hesitant to give to a new ministry because I fear being inundated with nonstop requests for money. This frustration hasn’t helped our own ministry efforts; even though we have very real and present financial needs, we rarely solicit funds because we don’t want to further burden people who are already feeling burdened and used.

In principle, there are some awesome ministries out there and I don’t feel that it’s wrong for them to ask for money—as long as it’s done in a way that truly honors the heart of God by valuing people for more than their money or their service. Herein lies the glaring difference between the kingdom of light and that of darkness.

Dark, self-centered forces will always view people on a pragmatic basis alone. Personal value is dependent on what they have to offer, and when that offering is depleted, those individuals can be discarded in search of “fresh meat”.

The kingdom of light, God’s government, operates by very different standards. People have value because God loves them—so much value that He sent His Son to pay a horrible price for the sake of our redemption. At a glance, it all seems rather unjust toward Jesus until we consider how He came out on the other end of His suffering. Jesus is now exalted above high heaven, whole and complete, in a better position than He was prior to the cross—if that’s at all possible.

photo credit: jDevaun via photopin cc
photo credit: jDevaun via photopin cc

I despise being used by this world’s system, but I long to be used by God. While the world cares nothing for me as a person, my heavenly Father always has my best interests at heart. Will I pay a price in my service to God? Absolutely—and a significant one at that! But I also know that, in the end, I will be better for it all. My God would never simply use me and then cast me aside, spent and worthless. He will use me to perfect me, to form me, to grow me, and, yes, even to honor me.

I may live in a vampire world, but I am a citizen of the kingdom of light. I know deep in my heart that my heavenly Father loves me for who I am, not simply what I have to offer. I, therefore, will seek to know Him and to be used for His eternal plans and purposes. I can only hope and pray the same for you.

“For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.'” Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NASB)

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