That’s what they all say

It is difficult not to get cynical, no matter what it is.  “Cynical” being defined as “believing that people are motivated by self-interest; distrustful of human sincerity or integrity.”  People become cynical about politicians, cynical about pastors & churches, cynical about addicts, and cynical about the welfare system, among a zillion other systems and people. It is easy to get cynical.

When some people call the church for help they will often say they need help because they just got a new job, but they will not get their first pay check for a couple of weeks.  Some times they are undoubtedly telling the truth.  Other times, we have come to find out it is not true.  But in their experience, they have found people are more willing to help someone who is willing to help themselves.  They will also often mention the ages of their kids.  This is probably true in most cases.  Yet for the people trying to pull a fast one, they have found that people are more willing to help people when kids are involved.  I am not creating a blanket statement.  There are times when people are telling the truth and other times when people are not being truthful.

One time a woman stopped by the church and told me she needed money for cancer pills for her husband.  She needed $47.  I asked where her prescription was and she told me the Rite Aid on Virginia Avenue.  I told her I could not give her the money, but I would meet her there in 30 minutes to pay for them.  I got there 10 minutes early and waited for her for over an hour.  She never showed.  I was left to assume there was no prescription, but that she just wanted the cash.  I nearly cried in the parking lot because I was so sad.  Sometimes it breaks my heart.  Other times it makes me angry.

We, as a church, are responsible not to waste the Lord’s money by giving people drug and alcohol money.  Yet we are also called to be generous and forgiving.  I must always remember that I serve a patient God of second and third chances… A God who has shown and continues to show such patience with me.

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, to proclaim the virtues of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. ~ 1 Peter 2:9-10






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