Care | Criticism | Ministry | Risk | Simplicity

Christian celebrities face the problem of knowing how to be both real and also live in a glass house. In Patricia Cornwell’s excellent biography of Ruth Bell Graham she tells about this dilemma: Handling the finances was further complicated by the fact that she (Ruth) not only had to make ends meet, but she had to remember that the world was watching every penny she spent. She realized then that she would rarely be able to indulge herself in jewelry or expensive clothing, even if the items were gifts. Refusing extravagent presents was sometimes quite troublesome: She requested that a group of ladies she had addressed send her $1,000 honorarium to an orphanage in Mexico. They complied — and then sent her a Nieman-Marcus gift certificate for the amount. Ruth bought a gold bracelet with it and gave it to a relief organization with the stipulation that they sell it for twice its value and use the money for mission…

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