Sunday, September 5, 2021

Dealing with a Moochinary

Tomorrow is Labor Day, which one dictionary defines as “a public holiday or day of festivities held in honor of working people, in the US and Canada on the first Monday in September, in many other countries on May 1.” Despite the Bible’s commandments to have a good work ethic, some missionaries are more like “moochinaries”, begging in the name of the Lord. I’ve dealt with a few especially online.

Three years ago, a Facebook friend who called himself “The Thankful Leper” sent me a message asking for money. Until then, I never had any interaction with this man since accepting his friend request. Initially, I replied with a link to my “Discernment for Donations” article. That was to explain why I don’t give money in response to unsolicited emails. He immediately responded by saying he won’t play “scripture ping pong” but quoted verses about why I should help him financially. 

This man went on to say, “If you can't help me in that way I’d be happy to move in with you and you can take care of me that would be a better blessing.” He lived in Dallas while I was hundreds of miles away in Minnesota. I pointed out I’m a traveling missionary who lives out of a suitcase and doesn’t have a permanent home. 

The Thankful Leper then suggested I partner with him calling this “a divine appointment.” I told him, “I’m a believer...not a beggar.” (I look to God as my source and avoid asking people for money while this professional panhandler had a GoFundMe page that collected over $24,000 within two years). He went on to quote more Bible verses trying to put a guilt trip on me. Since he handled the word of God deceitfully (2 Corinthians 4:2) and wasn’t teachable, I unfriended him.

Jesus never had to beg for His needs to be met. The Apostle Paul supported himself by making tents but later wrote in 1 Corinthians 9:14 (NIV), “…the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.” Whether you are called to the ministry or the marketplace, the Lord wants your work to glorify Him. We are not to be slothful or have a sense of entitlement.

“For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies…And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed.” - 2 Thessalonians 3:11, 14

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