In John 21, Jesus told Peter that he (Peter) will die for his faith. But, Jesus tells Peter to follow Him anyway. Peter initially resists, but opts to follow Jesus.
Wow! Jesus has never told me that I will die for my faith. I have really never even suffered for my faith. I live in Atlanta, where attending a mainline Christian church is cultural as much as it is spiritual. I have never felt persecuted or ostracised. I have never feared for my life. I have never risked losing my job for my faith. I have never felt pressured to downplay or minimize my convictions.
My husband and I have recently taken Financial Peace University, a Biblically based study on money taught by Dave Ramsey. We felt convicted to pay off all of our debt, including our mortgage, as result of that three month study. We have paid off all of our non-mortgage debt and have begun the gargantuan task of paying off our mortgage. It will take years and will require lots of sacrifices on our part. Friends have already told us they don't think we should pay off our mortgage. However, the Bible tells us not to borrow money. That the borrower is the slave to the lender. As an expression of our faith, we both feel compelled to pay off our mortgage early. At times it seems like a joke; when I look at the huge number called our "Principal Balance," I think it is an impossible task. Who pays off their mortgage early? Why? Don't we want the tax deduction?
Yes, we debated these issues for weeks. Robby has been pushing to pay off the mortgage early for about a year. I have been resistant. But, in the last two months my heart changed and I now believe that we should pay it off early. I doubt such a task would be possible without both spouses committed to the task. For several years. I feel confident we can do it and am excited about the "Finish Line." I am also curious to see what will happen during this process. I am self employed. Robby only has a contract job - with no benefits. Our COBRA benefits from his last job have expired. We are in the process of securing new benefits from somewhere (not sure where yet). Catherine is still sick (although much better). We want to have another child. All of this will be obstacles along the path over the next few years. Yet, we can still keep our eyes on the prize. With the help of the Holy Spirit, I know we can accomplish this. We will not die from this task, but we are following Him.
This post is inspired by the book Dangerous Surrender by Kay Warren.