Must Encourage Students to
Count the Cost
Karen Pansler-Lam, J.D.
The other day, someone handed me a form letter from my alma mater, Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida.
After reading the letter, I tossed it on the table in disgust.
The letter was from President Kent Ingle begging for money for scholarship assistance.
I am sick and tired of youth expecting everything for free.
Today, every student wants a scholarship - free money.
I have five academic degrees. I received free tuition for two bachelor's degrees because my it was one of my dad's benefits as an administrator. The third bachelor's and the master's were paid for out of my savings. And the juris doctor ($100,000+) was paid for with my savings, borrowing from my parents, and a government loan. And all money was paid back with interest, including the money borrowed from my parents.
I never asked anyone to give me money.
And I have never asked anyone to give me money for education or anything.
However, today everyone wants free money. They covet our money and feel entitled to money we worked for and saved.
Incidentally, most of the "poverty" in this country is the fruit of decadence and extravagance. How many in “poverty” spend money on booze, cigarettes, movies, restaurants, cell phones, expensive vehicles, large-screen TVs and expensive cable/satellite packages, ipods, and other wasteful spending? (Charity is discussed in “The Lazy Poor in America” @ http://www.libertyadvocate.com/message23.htm). They want charity for necessities so they can waste their money on luxuries and sinful habits.
Whatever happened to Biblical stewardship? As one of God’s gifts, money is a trust that should be saved, wisely spent, and faithfully administered. It should not be prodigally squandered or unfaithfully administered. The Bible admonishes us to save, invest, spend wisely, and practice economy.
Specifically, we are to count the cost. When we undertake to do something, we must first consider the expense of it. In other words, don’t build a house you can’t afford to finish. Don’t pursue a higher education you can’t afford to start or complete. Don’t buy a car you can’t afford to drive. And other stewardship principles.
However, the teaching of stewardship is contrary to the popular prosperity gospel that has driven our country to the brink of economic disaster. Prosperity preachers shout: “Buy what you can’t afford. Drain your bank accounts and give all your money to us; God will prosper you tenfold or more"…and other vain babbling.
Years ago, parents and teachers taught thrift. For example, the 1915 schoolbook Stories of Thrift for Young Americans instructs youth in the thrift of money, time, and energy through efficiency.
And in 1894, the Reverend James W. Cole wrote in the chapter "Reaping Without Sowing" in Portraits and Principles of the World’s Great Men and Women With Practical Lessons on Successful Life By Over Fifty Leading Thinkers:
There are altogether too many persons anxious to live upon the toil and profit by the fortunes of others rather than to earn their own. Do you know what that means? It means to be a thief and a vagabond… To get by unfair means the toil or the wealth of another will never be any other than a misfortune to him who gets it. Even when another gives you a fortune you did not earn, it proves in general a misfortune by arresting the development of your own powers of manhood, that need and must have work in order to grow…You must make your own fortune on earth if you would be honest, and honorable, and gain a well-developed manhood... Depending on the patronage of others will not gain it, but your own industry and fidelity to the right will. (Emphasis added.)
And Rev. Cole has many other words of wisdom in chapter 46 @ http://www.archive.org/stream/portraitsprincip00kingiala#page/n15/mode/2up.
Undoubtedly, patronage weakens a youth’s responsibility and resolve.
Students must first count the cost before making plans to go to college.
And every student is bound to do what he can to finance his education.
he must not be a beggar and ask
strangers to pay for his education
As for Dr. Ingle’s begging for scholarship money for students…we should never give money indiscriminately. Instead of students expecting free money from strangers, they should first count the cost of education and then do the following…
1. Work and save money. A person is less apt to waste money he works for. Working and saving is Biblical stewardship.
2. Ask parents, grandparents, and other family members for financial assistance with a gift or loan. Your family knows your character and whether you are frugal or frivolous. If you are studious and thrifty and industrious, they will either give you a gift or loan. On the contrary, if you are a loafer and a spendthrift, they will refuse to help you. So…why should a stranger help you?
Irrefutably, the Bible instructs us that it is the family’s responsibility to provide for their own:
If any man or woman that believeth have widows, let them relieve them, and let not the church be charged; that it may relieve them that are widows indeed. (1 Timothy 5:16)
Matthew Henry comments:
It is appointed that those widows only should be relieved by the charity of the church who were pious and devout, and not wanton widows that lived in pleasure, v. 5, 6.
Another rule he gives is that the church should not be charged with the maintenance of those widows who had relations of their own that were able to maintain them. This is mentioned several times (v. 4): If any widow have children or nephews, that is grandchildren or near relations, let them maintain them, and let not the church be burdened. So v. 16. This is called showing piety at home (v. 4), or showing piety towards their own families.
Observe, Charity misplaced is a great hindrance to true charity; there should be prudence in the choice of the objects of charity, that it may not be thrown away upon those who are not properly so, that there may be the more for those who are real objects of charity.
Irrefutably, it is the Biblical duty of parents - not strangers - to provide for their children, including an education.
3. If your family is experiencing true financial misfortune (unintentional unemployment, medical emergency, or other unforeseen hardship) and cannot help you financially, ask for financial assistance from your local church. This is called showing piety at church, or showing piety towards their own church family. If you and your family are active in the church, your church family should know your character. Do you have a reputation for honesty, integrity, industry, and so forth - a Christian character? Are you a good student or lazy in your studies?
4. Find an affordable school. Southeastern is not the school it used to be: it’s not Bible-based; it’s purpose-driven. Since you’re not getting an education grounded in Biblical truths, go to a cheaper college or university.
By the way, Dr. Ingle closes his letter with the following statement:
“Thank you for your prayers and support as we continue our mission of transforming minds and engaging culture.”
Don’t let this fool you. “Transforming minds” doesn’t mean education; it means indoctrination. The mission of “transforming minds and engaging culture” is indoctrination in Rick Warren’s New World Order.
5. Get a loan from the government. If your family and church family can’t afford to help you financially, get a government loan.
In 1875, Samuel Smiles wrote in his best seller Thrift:
Every man is bound to do what he can to elevate his social state, and to secure his independence. For this purpose he must spare from his means in order to be independent in his condition. Industry enables men to earn their living; it should also enable them to learn to live. Independence can only be established by the exercise of forethought, prudence, frugality, and self-denial.
Just as we should not intend for strangers to pay for our house, a student should not intend for strangers to pay for his education. He must first sit down and count the cost...
For which of you,
intending to build a tower,
sitteth not down first,
and counteth the cost,
whether he have sufficient to finish it?
Dr. Ingle, it is beneath the dignity of a university president to be a beggar. And don’t encourage students to be beggars - dependent on others to pay for their education. Encourage them to work, save, or ask for a gift or loan from their family.