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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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Replies

              • I hear where you’re coming from, Dr. Blake. The Body of Christ is an organism, not an organization, and is made of ‘living stones.’ Revive us, Dear Lord!

                • The Church, needs to disband its denominational ways, the denominations are well named, in my list of definitions would include this word as 'demon-isations' (or a demon inspired organisation of a faith).  Just think what could be achieved if Anglicans, Catholics, Orthodox and all the independent churched like 'New Frontiers', that were fed up with the establishment churches., all came together and agreed only what God's word said.  We don't need any more Bibles, we need to re-read the one we have.

                  • Yes, the building or place where Christians gather to worship and fellowship doesn’t need a name on it. 

              • YES!!! Praise the Lord He is using THE Church (the true body of Christ) for His purposes even today. 

            • I helped her in the ways that you’re saying we should help. 

            • She heard the gospel message as she sat in the pew beside me. She received quite a bit by being there from that standpoint. It was a good message that Sunday. To do special counseling outside of the scope of sharing the message of faith requires more than just fellowshipping over a meal and telling someone how Jesus saves us. I longed to lift her self respect/self esteem. Our worth can only be found in Christ not in anything materialistic or in ourselves. As someone who has suffered personally with low self worth, not just anyone has been able to help me, but a few trusted individuals have helped me. But she wasn’t looking for that kind of help. 

              • Amanda I think its hard to gice a true conplete picture in typing. It sounds like you were there for her and that's terrific. I believe that the church has failed miserably in that we forget that God does not call the qualified...He qualifies the called. We leave so much up to the "professionals" when we are each to be His hands and feet. Yes sometimes we need the help of those with special training but it does NOT remove us from it. Being a friend and being willing to truly let others into our lives is far from handing them off to someone professional.

                • I agree, the church today has failed dramatically for about sixteen-hundred years, when the corruption set in following the adoption of the faith by the Roman Empire. I also agree with your " God does not call the qualified...He qualifies the called", something that it took me a long time to learn. Showing just by being there  we can can offer someone, the most precious gift of all, Friendship and fellowship is the most important thing can give, our time and patience and a listening ear, with love.

                   

                • Annette, yes it’s difficult to communicate in writing. I don’t exactly think the congregation failed this woman. I probably was wrong by giving her a bit of money. Without knowing her full story, it’s difficult to know what I should have done. I didn’t even know the congregation had helped her once until I overheard it that day afterwards. But I would like to know how to handle those begging for future reference. That includes those begging with their signs at intersections or on the street. Not all of them are homeless or addicts/alcoholics. Generally, addicts and alcoholics can’t quit ‘cold turkey’ because doing so endangers their lives due to withdrawals. It’s a good topic and worthy of discussing. 

                  • Amanda, I think there are a couple of issues that need to be addressed. The responsibility of a church body to take care of needs around them and the responsibility of individuals whom the Lord puts next to others at specific times. 

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