Ask Your Preacher
First of all, we are loving Christians who tithe and give our offerings, and God has blessed us dearly.
However, there is a family who are friends with our family, and we love them. Yet, they are constantly taking advantage of our niceness and Christian faith because they are always asking for things, especially money, and they know we will try to help them… $40 here, $60 there, $100 here, another $40 there, another $80 there. Many times it is twice a month or once a month. This has been occurring over and over and over for the past three to four years. Although they never pay us back, we continue to help them out because this is the Christian thing to do. However, there is a time for all things! It is just getting out of hand! Will God be upset with us if we slowly and kindly stop giving them money and start putting these resources to better use? Thank you for your help.
Give Me A Break
Dear Give Me A Break,
The Bible tells us that it is a good thing to give and help others who are in need (Acts 20:35, Matt 19:21). However, the Bible also has some strict rules regarding those who are unwilling to work and are always looking for handouts. 2 Thess 3:10 says that if a man won’t work, neither let him eat. There is a point where giving to someone can actually hinder them from being productive and enable entitlement behavior.
Furthermore, the Bible tells us to be good stewards of what we have (1 Cor 4:2). How you budget and spend your money needs to be generous and wise. It sounds like you feel that you are being generous, but you are no longer being wise in your financial dealings.
Why do we, believers, sometimes act like Pharisees?
There are lots of reasons that people can behave Pharisaically. The Pharisees chose their traditions over the Bible (Mk 7:8), and the Pharisees also cared more about appearances than they did about genuinely serving God (Matt 23:25-26). Sadly, there are still people like that in the church today. The key is to not be that way yourself.
Are there any scriptures that instruct us on fellowshipping with other Christians (i.e. where to fellowship, what to do when we fellowship)? I've been meeting with a group of Christians here and there, and it seems all we do is eat, talk about random things, and go home. I have yet to see a Bible opened at one of the fellowships; we don’t even speak about God and His Word. If someone walked in on our fellowship, they would think we're just a bunch of friends sitting around and having a good ol’ time. I want to bring this up before the group. Any suggestions?
A Different Kind Of Hungry
Dear A Different Kind Of Hungry,
The Bible talks a lot about fellowship but not in the way we often use the word today. The word ‘fellowship’ means ‘the share which one has in anything, participation’. In short, the word fellowship doesn’t have anything to do with social gatherings; it is about partnership and sharing in a common goal. The Greek word for fellowship is sometimes translated ‘communion’ (2 Cor 13:14) or ‘contribution’ (Rom 15:26) because when we share in a common work or contribute to a common work, we are in fellowship.
The church must be in fellowship with one another constantly. We must work together for a common purpose at all times. However, that doesn’t have anything to do with whether or not you socialize… in the case of Php 1:3-5, Paul said he had fellowship with the Philippian church because they financially supported him even though he was in a distant land.
Now that we know what fellowship is and isn’t, let’s talk about this group getting together. There isn’t anything wrong with Christians just spending time together for fun and social enjoyment. However, if you are getting together for the purpose of studying and spiritual growth, it sounds like this group isn’t meeting those goals.
I have relationship problems. My girlfriend keeps leaving me while I'm at work. We’ve been together for five years, and every now and then, she gets really bothered and gets distant and treats me like a total stranger and leaves for her sister’s. Her sister is no help; she compounds the problems in my girlfriend’s head, so she will leave and be with her. My girlfriend has mental issues; she’s paranoid schizophrenic, and she’s really impressionable. When she leaves with our son, I have no way to contact her, and I’m really anxious and freaked out. I don’t think our problems are any worse than anybody else’s. We’ve had our problems; she’s had drug problems and cheated on me. The most I’ve done is talk to people on the internet because I feel so alone sometimes when she ignores me.
I’m so lost, and I miss my son, and I know he’s so confused. What do I do? Her sister keeps quoting scriptures to me through Facebook and telling my girlfriend that I’m some evil person she shouldn’t be with.
Dear Not Evil,
From what you are saying, you and your girlfriend aren't married but are living and sleeping together – this is why your son is confused. Sin has a way of destroying our lives and tearing us apart. You are sinning by living and sleeping together without being married. God designed those things for marriage only (Gen 2:24). You both need to make a decision: either commit to a life together and get married or stop sinning and separate yourselves. Nothing will get better until you do that.
(This question is in response to “Irrelevant Gender” )
I just read the post about when we die, we will not be woman or man. When I die, will I not know about anything or anybody in this life? I feel like when I die, it will be my soul living but not really me. I feel sad thinking I will not remember my husband and kids... this leaves me feeling empty.
Dear Sad Mom,
When we die, we don’t forget our family. Even when the rich man woke up in torments, he remembered his brothers (Lk 16:27-28). If those in torments remember, then how much more will those in Paradise remember their beloved families? Hopefully, you can find comfort in that.