Question: The Aftermath of Giving Away Half My Salary

image mmrn asked:

How are you doing? I hope that you are doing well and enjoying your day so far! I am a fan of your blog, posts and wisdom and just thought I should pop by and say hi! 🙂 I remember you saying that you were giving half of your salary to charity in a post last year, on February 12th, 2012.

Now that the anniversary of this date is coming up, how do you feel? What is the most significant thing that you learned? Are you looking forward to having access to your full income, or is the thought overwhelming at all? I can’t imagine being brave enough to do the sacrifice that you have done! I would truly love to have more insight regarding your experience, if you have a moment to share your thoughts! Thank you so much, have a fantastic day, and take care!

Can I tell you first: thank you for asking me how I’m doing and how my day was.  Not enough people ask those simple questions and you’re awesome for doing it.  I am well and today is a good day, and thank you for all your kind encouraging words. 🙂

I did indeed give away half my income at the end of last year to fight human trafficking, and began a campaign with the charity One Day’s Wages to raise more money.  Please allow me to shamelessly plug that campaign here — you can still contribute any amount that you like.  Just scroll to the bottom, and you’ll also see a list of everyone else who’s donated.

Now to answer your questions!


1) How do you feel?

Honestly, right now I feel itchy in my soul.  I had been on such a rush saving the money that the second I signed the check, I was hungering to get on another mission. There’s nothing else like doing what God designed you to do: to be outrageously generous and totally dependent on God’s provision.

Right now I’m praying about a new “radical” objective from the Lord, and I can’t wait to get started.  Whether that’s saving my money or giving more time or starting a whole new ministry, I’m excited.


2) What is the most significant thing you learned?

While I can’t pin it down to one major thing and while it would all sound so cliche, I’d say the overarching lesson that hit me in the head is that God provides.

Man, does He provide.

There were some bizarre, outlandish, ridiculously weird ways that God provided down to the last minute.  At times I just laughed.  At one point I got a check at a preaching gig for $2000 and I nearly fell into a chair (I was seriously expecting maybe a hundred at most, I’m just a nobody preacher in the middle of nowhere).  If you want to hear some other ways God provided, I preached it recently here.

Another strange thing is that I actually started to feel like a Christian for the first time.  I know that sounds wrong somehow, and maybe it is: but when I began going all out, the entire theology of Christ made that much more sense.  I began to understand a small glimpse of his sacrifice that I could not have learned any other way.


3) Are you looking forward to having access to your full income, or is the thought overwhelming at all?

Since I’ve been jobless as of December, I won’t have any income for a little while.  Whenever I do find a new opportunity, I’ll need to start saving for a future marriage: but I won’t stop donating.  The needs of the world will always far outweigh mine, no matter how much I’m making.


4) Any further insight

One minor thing that bothered me was I expected my church to get really pumped and go crazy for Jesus, but it didn’t happen.  I thought I could ask others to join what I was already doing, even if it was just a small step like opening the Bible to read it.

Nearly everyone kept doing their own thing, and maybe my expectations were not fair nor reasonable.  I kept hearing, “It’s great you’re doing that, but I could never do that.” 

That’s true: you don’t have to donate half your salary, or any of it. 

Yet God has called us to a mission bigger than ourselves.

So Christians: just do something.  Please do anything. 

Not because the world is watching: but because you’re probably bored and drowning in doubt and arguing online when you could be out there serving and getting dirty and sprouting fruit and turning the Gospel alive in your heart by moving your hands for His glory.

Who cares what anyone else thinks?  It didn’t stop Jesus and it didn’t stop a broken messed up guy like me, either.

You can start something now.  You could do first what no one else is doing. Or you could put it off again, like we all do.


I don’t know what the something looks like for you, but needs are everywhere.  Bibles to China.  Homeless ministries.  Soup kitchens around the corner.  The local jail.  Your inner-city.  Next door neighbors.  Holidays and birthdays for the poor.  The weird kid in your school.  The lonely girl at your workplace.

The church has done a great job of propping up four walls to passively receive information in a comfortable air-conditioned space, but that’s not really where God’s Kingdom advances forward.  We need to get on James 1:22 because that’s where the wild, reckless, giddy adventure with Jesus begins.

Please know I’m not saying we do this stuff to “get saved.”  I’m totally all on Ephesians 2:8-9.  But there’s also Ephesians 2:10.  God gave us a mission while we still have days left on earth.  This Christian life only makes sense when you roll up your sleeves and get in the filth of a broken world.  It’s what Jesus did and it’s what he calls you to do, too.

Just start.  Anything.  Keep going.

Yesterday was my birthday, and instead of gifts, I’m asking you to donate to fight human trafficking. Find out how here.

3 thoughts on “Question: The Aftermath of Giving Away Half My Salary

  1. I wasn’t following you when you made this pledge, but I’m thrilled to read your results and reflections about it today. I found myself nodding as I read of God’s provision, your growing faith, and sadly, the apathy of many believers. Way to go! Thank you.


  2. It breaks my heart to hear your church couldn’t do anything. Not that this was their mission, perhaps, but I just saw images of my experience, how the church destroyed my ministry and everyone stood around and watched and said I should do something about it, but they wouldn’t. Keeping the four walls was a greater value than collegiality in Christ. Never give up whatever God calls you to do.


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