Make Sure The Trip Is Spiritually Guided

Paul and his wife make about $110,000 a year. His wife wants to go on a mission trip, but Paul wants to get rid of their debt before they do. She isn't completely on board. What does Paul do?

QUESTION: Paul in Los Angeles has been married about a year and a half. He and his wife make about $110,000 a year. They’ve been saving to buy a house while still having debt. His wife wants to go on a mission trip, but Paul wants to get rid of this debt before they do either. She isn’t completely on board because of the mission trip issue. What does Paul do?

ANSWER: Let me challenge you on this. A mission trip should be a spiritually guided thing, not a Christian vacation. My point is that there are orphanages across the border in Mexico. You start talking about $12,000, and it’s a different deal than $1,200.

What is God really saying here in your lives? What’s He asking you to do? I’m not going get between you and Him, I’ll just tell you that. But I’m going to challenge here, if I were talking to her, that this is God. I’m not sure it is. I think she loves orphans, and she’s a very sweet lady. She’s a believer. She senses that that’s something she can go and help and do. I don’t have any problem with any of that. But I’m not sure that the timing of that is God, because here’s what Scripture says. It says take care of your own household first or you’re worse than an unbeliever. I take that to mean get your act together financially before you start running around helping other people. That doesn’t mean you’re not tithing or helpful or of a kind and generous spirit. It doesn’t even mean that you never go on a mission trip while you’re in debt. But I’ll just tell you it’s an unusual thing Scripturally speaking. In the Ramsey household, we would not be going to Africa for $12,000 while we’re in debt, and we love God as much as you do. I promise you that.