What was the one decision that changed my life? To take care of God's children whether they could afford the care or not.
To be perfectly clear, it didn't happen right away. Early on in practice I was on a spiritual journey trying to find my way back to God. I had spent 10 to 15 years trying to find joy, happiness and fulfilment in all the wrong places. I couldn't find these things in a busier practice, in better results, in faster cars, or bigger homes.
Once I journeyed back to God the scales fell off of my eyes and I could see the obvious. Jesus would want me to take care of the poor in the same way I would take care of the rich.
Everyone deserves the same quality of care regardless of ability to pay. I cannot tell you how often I have had discussions with chiropractors about this one subject: what to do with patients that cannot afford care. I have heard every argument. Don't ever give your care away, never lessen the value of your care by discounting it, take one or two scholarships a month and have everyone else wait etc., etc.
The justification to only adjust those that can afford it came from every angle. I only have so much energy and time to be a chiropractor and I need to maximize my revenue, I don't want to be bending over patients, sacrificing my body and not get paid what I deserve. There are a hundred other variations on this same theme. The bottom line is that none of these arguments hold water.
The Bible says to not treat the rich better than the poor. Don't give the rich the best seats in the church. Jesus said that when you look after the sick and the poor we are taking care of Him. When the Holy Spirit came in power on Pentecost, people were compelled to sell their belongings and share everything with their neighbours.
The bottom line is that my experiment with taking up the challenge of serving everyone regardless of their ability to pay has worked. It's been ongoing for the last 25 of my 31 years in practice and it is true. You cannot out-give God and there is more joy in giving than in receiving.
At our practice my partners and I have given away over 10 million dollars in care over the past 2 decades. I wouldn't change a thing. Yes I could have been more profitable, I could have seen less people and made more money and it would have been easier on my body, but it would have been a job not a calling. There would have been many good times but it would not have brought me great inner joy and peace. I would have been very successful in the eyes of the world but I would have missed many opportunities to share God's love.
We all need a new perspective. The perspective of the world that there is a limited amount of resources and that acquiring our portion of those resources is somehow going to make us happy is a lie.
The reality is that there are unlimited resources in God's economy and we are not to be about acquiring as much as possible. At best we should excel in our calling and allow the wealth to flow through us.
Another way of looking at finances from a spiritual perspective is that the money God flows into our lives is like seed. If we plant the seed it will reap an even greater harvest. If, however, we take the wealth God provides to us and we consume it all, then in essence we are eating all our seed and will not leave anything for God to multiply. No seed, no harvest.
I guess that's the bottom line. Sharing God's love from above down inside out is the ultimate spiritual journey and it is the way to experience pure joy. It's not always easy.
It will be a struggle at times but it's worth all the sacrifice. Stop worrying about getting paid your full fee and start taking care of God's people.
It is one decision you will not regret.
With much Love,