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We know that people will take advantage of the church. Recently, I was in a service where a young woman showed up asking for ‘food’ and I overheard one member saying that the congregation had already helped her once. The woman had sat next to me during the service. She asked me if I could help her with ‘just food.’ I realize that some advise people not to give money to those who are ‘begging’ while others advise that it’s not for us to judge the person but to give if we’re able to give. My thoughts that day were that this woman’s problems go far deeper and she wasn’t just wanting to scam people for money. I tried to focus in on her as an individual and see her spiritual needs but also saw that she had zero self esteem/self respect. 

The fact that she was willing to show up at a church service to beg demonstrates to me that she was willing to endure humiliation, judgment and scrutiny as though that was nothing new to her. How would you treat someone in this situation? 
 

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        • thanks for clarifying. That makes great sense. 

    • Great Psalm. The saved and the lost are both different in how they think, act, and live because those who are born again belong to God and have a different master.

      The woman was clean and dressed normally, definitely did not look homeless. She was wearing makeup. I told her she looked nice. During the sermon, I handed her a pew bible and she took it but didn’t know how to look up the scripture, or at least appeared to not know because she opened it and motioned for me to help her find the scriptures that were part of the sermon. I showed her the scriptures. I invited her to stay after service for the church dinner.

      It could be a case of possibly just not having enough income to make ends meet. There was a recent government shutdown here and I think it affected some recipients of government funds but that was in January and February. Those funds were given out here on March 1.

      I saw a lost soul whose greatest need is Jesus, but how do you help such a person? I know that everywhere, there are many Christ centered groups, based in the church, that are going out not to evangelize but just to help people and families, no strings attached. They just serve and bring hope to others and if a doorway opens to share the gospel with an individual then that’s wonderful. Perhaps that is the way to treat such a person who comes to the church asking for ‘help’ too. I’m not sure and wondering if I handled this situation very well. I gave her a twenty. 

  • I cant stop thinking about the biblical principles in the song "Broken Things" by Matthew West especially...."I'm just a beggar in the presence of the King...."   

    • Don't know that one Annette, sounds an interesting title though.

       

    • Annette, I think that very often a physical, mental, emotional or biological problem may need to be stabilized before any spiritual need can be dealt with, such as a person suffering from physical hunger pains may need to be fed before the person can even hear the words of the gospel. So, as far as reaching out to the hungry and the afflicted and meeting some of their physical needs, I think providing that kind of comfort isn't wrong. People often debate all the arguments about the ones receiving benefits who aren't truly entitled, and all the ones who mis-spend their funds and use them unwisely, and so forth, but the fact remains that there are people who really need government support and who actually do qualify and actually are impoverished but the funds just aren't enough. Is that her story? I don’t know. I think it’s not gor me to investigate it but the church elders could, as Steve mentioned. Nevertheless, to me, the spiritual need to be born again is above all other needs, and God bless our evangelists, ministers, and preachers who daily pour themselves out wholeheartedly in an effort to meet that kind of hunger and affliction. 

       

      • I agree, after being a counsellor and Christian Counsellor for so many years, hunger can be translated in so many ways.  Counselling can so oftenbabout changing perceptions of an event, or belief or an emotion.

         

      • I agree with you that the hunger needs to be fed but AS we speak to the hungry. Jesus fed and healed AS He called them to faith. I think you and I may differ on just who's responsibility that woman was at that moment. I believe it was yours, He sent her to you. I do not argue about receiving benefits though I do believe there are civic responsibilities that need to be dealt with BUT the responsibility to daily pour themselves out to meet the need of the afflicted is every single believers.... NOT just the clergy. We are all supposed to be getting our hands dirty in serving others especially when the Lord puts them right next to us.

        My point about mentioning the song is that WE ARE ALL BEGGGARS, WE ARE ALL IN DESPERATE NEED and we should not think better of ourselves because we are all deserving of eternal death.

         

        • Yes, there’s nothing wrong with giving someone a warm meal and showing them the scriptures, being friendly and caring. But I’m not a church leader. The Body has many members and each member has its own work. I don’t know if I did ‘enough’ or what more I could do if she returns. I do know her greatest need is the Savior. 

          • YES! That is all our greatest need. I'm not sure I understand why you think it would take a church leader to help her. We are all called to share the gospel, all called to help the poor, all called to get next to people and make disciples. The Body does have many members and I am a very strong proponent of each one using their gifts for the buidling up of the body but when it comes to things that we should all be doing...well....we should just all be doing.

            • The modern church just does not have the strong guidance of the Holy Spirit on how to resolver these situations.  Compare our church today with the church of Acts, when do we hear of 5000 being added in one day?  We are not capable of speaking in the Spirit in the way that the disciples did just after Pentecost, when their message contained the power of the Spirit. 

              Look at the state our church leadership, employed by their university qualifications rather than their demonstration of the gifts.  We teach people (like myself) to be counsellors, rather that their ability to listen to the Holy Spirit, our church counsellors hold their positions through the standards of the world.  Should Christ come back as a mortal today, He would not recognise the church (although I am sure He knows full well the state of the church).  It is the attitude of the leadership today that causes these problems, because so often churches are run like businesses, and not spiritual organisations, with too many crarrier opportunities.  A leadership consisting of managers rather than servants.

               

               

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