Imagine being told that. Who wouldn’t love to hear those words?
Two weeks ago on Sunday, May 19, nearly 400 graduates of Morehouse College’s class of 2019 heard those words from investor and philanthropist Robert F. Smith. He was the commencement speaker for graduation and absolutely electrified the class and crowd with these words: “My family is going to create a grant to eliminate your student loans!”
Smith, who is the founder of Vista Equity Partners, is ranked by Forbes as one of the richest people in America with a net worth of over $5 billion. The gift he and his family are giving could total $40 million.
One of the graduates, Elijah Dormeus, who has $90,000 in student loan debt, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “If I could do a backflip, I would. I am deeply ecstatic.” 1
Morehouse College President, David A. Thomas, told CNN Smith’s gesture was a “liberation gift.” 2
This gift isn’t for college, it’s for keeps. It doesn’t just change your financial status, it changes your eternal status.
According to Business Insider, “Home Depot cofounder, Ken Langone, announced last year he would pay tuition for every New York University medical student, a gift that totaled $100 million of his money. The school endowment now offers free tuition for every student regardless of need.” 3
Those are amazing stories and incredible demonstrations of generosity.
BUT HERE’S ONE EVEN BETTER THAN THAT.
This time the gift came from the adopted son of a middle eastern carpenter named JESUS. The Bible says, “For the wages of sin (the debt) is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
Talk about a game changer. This gift isn’t for college, it’s for keeps. It doesn’t just change your financial status, it changes your eternal status once and for all.
Need motivation for being faithful in worship, living, serving, giving, you name it? Here it is …
YOUR DEBT HAS BEEN PAID!
© 2019. Barry L. Cameron
1 Yancey-Bragg, N'Dea. “Billionaire Pledges to Pay off $40 Million in Student Loan Debt for Morehouse College Class of 2019.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 20 May 2019, https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/05/19/billionaire-pledges-pay-off-morehouse-grads-student-loan-debt/3733949002/
2 Simon, Darran. “A Billionaire Vows to Pay off Debt of Morehouse College Graduates. Here Is What That Gesture Means.” CNN, Cable News Network, 20 May 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/20/us/morehouse-robert-smith-student-loans/index.html
3 Akhtar, Allana. “A Billionaire's Surprise Vow to Pay Morehouse Graduates' Loans Is Part of the Newest Trend in the Student-Debt Crisis.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 20 May 2019, https://www.businessinsider.com/billionaires-paying-student-loans-2019-5
Barry L. Cameron has been the Senior Pastor of Crossroads since 1992 when the church was averaging 188 in morning worship. Pastor Cameron and his wife, Janis, have three children and two grandsons. He’s the author of the bestseller: The ABCs of Financial Freedom, Contagious Generosity, and The Financial Freedom Workbook. The Cameron family has been completely debt free since November 2001.