Let's Discuss Wisdom in Helping the Poor

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  1. Shepherd's Lamb profile image62
    Shepherd's Lambposted 12 years ago

    I would like to start a discussion to help everyone that is struggling with the desire to help the poor and might feel guilty for having more than others.  There's got to be a balance, I think.

    1 Timothy 5:8 states, "But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel."

    Years ago I started working a job for $12 p/hr.  After four years I was finally able to afford a condo for my daughter and me.  Four years later I lost my job, but because I had been responsible with my finances I was able to keep our home living on umeployment income.  I cashed in my 401k to pay off my car and survive.  I've since been employed in temporary jobs without benefits, having to pay our medical premiums out-of-pocket ~ but, we can still survive.

    I have family members that are struggling to keep a phone on, have no ability to pay for electricity, as the benefit was cancelled due to lack of State/Govt funding.  Another is in prison due to the choice to abuse drugs/alcohol.  He may have serious mental problems, but it's hard to know if it wasn't caused by drug/alcohol abuse.  Most of my siblings are living on government assistance.  Low-income housing has a several-year waiting list, etc.  The burden on my heart to give up what I have ~ do without the comforts of life like a TV, descent food (we could eat soup and PB&J), etc. becomes a challenge.

    One family member had over $400,000 at one time and within a few years it was all gone.  Truly she helped many of our other family members and none are for the better today.  Now she has nothing.  Was it God's will that she 'help' those in need to her own detriment?  Is it God's will that I would do the same?  Where is the wisdom in sacrificially giving to help poor family members?  I need to reconcile this in my heart.  I love my family so much, and I hurt when they hurt.  I hurt because I and my daughter have what we need, by the grace of God.  In the years of harvest I try to save for the potential year(s) of hardship.  It is truly He who provides for us.

    Please, let's discuss this with compassion and wisdom, with faith and the heart to help all who are stuggling with this issue.  Thank you ~

    1. pennyofheaven profile image60
      pennyofheavenposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Help is a wonderful thing and we all do it naturally. Discerning what help is useful is an altogether different thing.

      Kinda like...

      You can give a man a fish, you feed him for a day

      Teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.

      1. Shepherd's Lamb profile image62
        Shepherd's Lambposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Yes, this is very true.  I was adopted out of a large family, a welfare family.  There were nine kids.  Four of us girls worked for several years, and now just two of us have jobs.  The rest are disabled and are receiving State/Govt funds to live.  I'm not sure what kind of lifestyle full dependence on the Govt supports, ie ~ is there's enough low-income housing, energy assistance, etc. available to support the increasing number of welfare and other low-income recipients.  Many disabled people hold part-time jobs.  I believe there are Companies looking to hire the disabled, as they don't have to provide benefit packages and so forth.  I'm not sure what the answers are, but I know the problem is far greater than I can solve, and my financial obligations (just a mortgage and no debt) as a single parent leave me with little extra.

        1. pennyofheaven profile image60
          pennyofheavenposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          I don't think it is a problem you should have to take responsibility for either. One cannot help another if they aren't first helping themselves. If you are ever in a position to thats fine and it becomes a choice. There are several more ways to help someone other than financially if you are in no position.

          I too come from a very large family. There were 13 of us (not including my parents) and 9 of us at home for the most part of my young life. The basics of life were not what people would deem as basic nowadays. Be very lucky if had more than bread to eat for a meal.  Nevertheless besides the scarcity I have wonderful memories of a  happy childhood that all of my siblings now agree with. Sharing was natural. Helping was too.

          As we grew older and all established different life paths, some family members struggled and some didn't. Since we are a close knit family, all those that could help did and all those that couldn't did but in other ways.

          It is nothing to those who have experienced lack or scarcity to give to those less fortunate themselves and there is nothing wrong with that in my view. The greatest gift one can give anyone however is to teach them how to help themselves.

          1. Shepherd's Lamb profile image62
            Shepherd's Lambposted 12 years agoin reply to this

            Yes, my whole family can relate to your story.  We're probably born in the late 50's early 60's, right?  Things were different back then.  Our grandparents were probably farmers (my ancestry goes back to that) and they had lots of kids to help on the farm.  Education was a priviledge, not mandatory.  I don't think I even went to school full-time until I was put in foster care at the age of six.  I remember attending kindergarten, once in awhile.  The kids were scattered and we spend much time on the streets, even thankful to be given a box of stale cereal.  Somehow, the family was close, fond and not-so-fond memories remain.

            While the kids were scattered over the years, the Lord's kept us in contact.  The old bitterness of using one another to survive, at the others' expense has been healed through the thankfulness when a sibling helps another out of love.  I suppose using others is a learned behavior that can become habitual even in adult years.  This may be worthy of exploration in their adult lives now.  God heals, and perhaps His plan includes depending on Him, by choosing obedience rather than manipulation, to accomplish the provision so desperately needed.

            1. pennyofheaven profile image60
              pennyofheavenposted 12 years agoin reply to this

              Yes you are right in the 60s. We were reared in the country but not on a farm. Only 10 minutes drive from a town. It was a kind of village with 8 houses. School was mandatory. I understand the thankfulness.

              Whilst we never considered sharing as using another I do understand what you are pointing to and yes it does become a habit which is why teaching someone another way is more useful whilst sharing what we can.

              Depending on God is depending on that which we have in us. That is where God dwells. Therefore everything we ever need is within.  Obedience to that which is within is not an easy thing to do because we have learned ways and ego to let go of or get past in order to hear the clear messages. It is the ego that manipulates.

              1. Shepherd's Lamb profile image62
                Shepherd's Lambposted 12 years agoin reply to this

                Yes, our selfishness gets in the way of Christ's Spirit in us, which is selfless.  Some may think that giving is selfless, but if it's done to the detriment of your well-being, you might be doing this out of pride, which then leads to destruction.  The Bible says we are to love our neighbor as ourselves, and many cut out the second part of that verse, or don't understand its meaning.

                A good example of this is when we are on an airplane.  If the plane loses oxygen, adults are instructed to put the oxygen mask on FIRST before assisting the elderly or a child.  This may appear selfish, but if we don't follow the instructions, no one may survive.  The elderly may be too slow or not sure of how to apply the mask.  The child needing assistance can't rely on a parent that passed out trying to put the mask on the child first.  There is wisdom.

    2. TimeHealsAll profile image63
      TimeHealsAllposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      You ask...Where is the wisdom in helping poor family members? My answer to this is....It's in remembering how they once helped you when you were poor.

      1. Shepherd's Lamb profile image62
        Shepherd's Lambposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        It sounds like you do not understand why I posted this forum, sis.  You are wanting to make this issue personal?  Why would you do this?  Okay ~ to the public ~ 

        TimeHealsAll is my sister, the one in need that I can't help right now.  She has a big, beautiful heart.  She took care of all our Dad's funeral arrangements, selling the house and taking our Mom in 10 years ago.  She took care of our Mom for seven years, right up until she died.  She brought our brother Danny's body up from Texas and had him buried with Mom.  She also looked over our legally blind brother and sent care packages to our brother in prison.  She won a law suit for a disability caused by boxes falling on her back and came into $400,000 of which she used to pay for these things and helped many of the needy family members, to the tune of $100,000.00.  She's fallen into having no money left and is truly going through a tough time.  Eleven years ago, she helped me with $375 to pay for a bankruptcy when I was in an abusive marriage and needed help to get out and afford living on my own.  Although I cannot help her at this point in my life, which is what my sadness is all about, it sounds like she is taking this topic personally, rather than understanding my heart to help and frustration in not being able to.

  2. Jerami profile image57
    Jeramiposted 12 years ago

    I hear what you are saying.

      Seen it my whole life.

       This didn't happen  but  imagine if you will

      You will starve to death today if you do not eat something today,  You can go out and and  MAYBE  bring home enough for everyone to eat tonight.

      There are four children at home who are also hungry. who have no one else to take care of them.

      You have one sandwich,    What do you do?

    1. Shepherd's Lamb profile image62
      Shepherd's Lambposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I think if they were my four children, I would divide the sandwich into five parts.  If I could not provide for them, I would find homes for them that could.  Currently, I provide for my child.  The family members that need assistance are all adults and are not of my womb.  However,they are my flesh and blood and my heart goes out to them.

      I know the Bible states that if a man not work, neither shall he eat (2 Thes 3:10).  There are many people who want to work and the jobs are not there.  There are those who receive State and Govt assistance, but due to the outrageous cost of basic needs (food, gas, electricity, housing) they don't have enough.  It's just horrible.  Any more words of wisdom?

      1. Jerami profile image57
        Jeramiposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        The previous post was purely hypothetical.
        And in that scenario, there was  "no one else to take care of them."   And hunger had been hanging around for weeks. The kids have ben getting all the food until you are down to the lat sandwich.   

           I have never been in quite that bad of shape, but pretty darn close.  I came close enough that this thought did come to mind, 
           You are right,  definitely share, but be selfish enough that you are still there to take care of those that you are responsible for,,,  Tomorrow.
           That was the point that I was making.

          And I didn't intend to sound like a wise a--.

           It is tough to see family and/or friends doing without.

           There is a lot of that going around these days.

        1. Shepherd's Lamb profile image62
          Shepherd's Lambposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          Well, if the kids had been getting all the food and I was going to die that day if I didn't eat, I'd eat the whole sandwhich...knowing the kids are certainly not near death...no, I don't think you were bing a wise a--.

          I pondered what my prayer was long ago from Proverbs 30:8-9 (NIV), “Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, 'Who
          is the LORD?'”  Well, I do have my daily bread and not much extra to give to others in need, who I suppose are to be depending on the Lord to provide for them, too.  Shouldn't the prayer be "Give me my daily bread and that of my family members, too"?

          1. Jerami profile image57
            Jeramiposted 12 years agoin reply to this

            Your OP is a good one.  There are lots of people that I know who are on both sides of the issue.

              I was thinking way to the extreem in my earlier post.

              More like what was going on in the 30s.  Especially out in the dust bowl. Life wasn't a picnic in the Ozark Mts. in the 60s either.

              Though today isn't as extreem,  a comparison can be made.

               There are many issues that can be adressed with the OP in mind. 
               It would be a good thing to see them all discused.

              Thank you for the OP

  3. profile image0
    jerrylposted 12 years ago

    I take it from your posts that you are a religious person.  Isn't it about time that religious congregations unite and start putting pressure on our legislators?

    Churches know all too well about how poverty has increased in this country.  Who better to lobby our legislators? 

    Do churches have the cahones to do that, or are they afraid of losing their tax exempt status?

    The separation of church and state argument doesn't hold water as far as I am concerned.  If there was true separation, the church wouldn't have to register with the state. 

    Churches should be gung ho about bringing our manufacturing base back to this country. Church is probably the only place where the word can get to enough people to make a difference, as most churches meet at least every Sunday, if not more often.  The action needed to address the poverty problem has to begin somewhere! The media sure won't spread the word like it should be spread. We need to take action against our companies that hire illegals and relocate to other countries.

    There is strength in numbers.  If legislators hear from enough pissed off voters, they are more likely to take some positive action.  Bring back the jobs!

    1. Shepherd's Lamb profile image62
      Shepherd's Lambposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I see many churches in my area opening their doors to feed the hungry and let the homeless sleep overnight.  Thus far, none of my family members are homeless (except when my brother's out of prison, he roams the streets by choice, as there are half-way houses that would shelter and feed him).  I know there are people who take advantage of charities ~ many have drug or irresponsible spending issues and cry for help when the consequences come knocking. 

      I see the Democrat movement seeks to provide more and more aid to the poor (seems noble), but by increasing taxes of the working populace.  With increasing taxes and inflation, the working class is getting bled, big time.  I bet there are many State and Govt programs out there to help those in need (ie Welfare to Work, grants, job training) and people won't take advantage of them until they 'hit bottom'.  All I know is, if I bleed to help everyone that needs it in my family, in order to bring their standard of living up, my standard of living will equalize with theirs, while I work and pay outrageous taxes and they don't.  In all honesty, sometimes I think the poor, even prisoners, have it better than the working class when it comes to provision.

  4. ddsurfsca profile image73
    ddsurfscaposted 12 years ago

    I raised 3 boys all by myself, and boys can really eat.  There were times when I did not eat so that my kids could have their fill, but having been in this position myself let me say that whether or not you help other family members is a decision that only you can make.  Also, let me say that sometimes the more you help family, the more they lean on you for that help and the less they do to help themself.
       In this country today, there is not a need for anybody to go hungry. If you take the time to do some looking and research, you will find that every community has resources you can tap, like food banks, churches sometimes hand out food baskets, and even the government has government issues that you can get every month.  The rest is up to you.
    As far as spending ones savings to help others, it is only money and I myself can put a couple hundred dollars in the bank if I find extra work, or even just rummage around for aluminum cans, or things for a yard sale.  Just like the saying goes, if there is a will there is a way.

    1. Shepherd's Lamb profile image62
      Shepherd's Lambposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      People really do need to save ~ pennies, nickles, dimes, quarters and dollars.  Unfortunately, we in this plentiful country don't want to do without certain luxuries (ie internet, television, cell phones, and for some ~ tattoos, alcohol, cigarettes, etc).  How many poor spend money on lottery tickets?  How many poor won the lottery, blew it and ended up just as poor as they were before?  It's really interesting to see someone give money to a person in need to pay a bill, and the person in need takes that money and gives it to another person in need, then doesn't have the money to pay the bill.  Is this a cyclical sickness that has the face of 'godliness'?

      1. TimeHealsAll profile image63
        TimeHealsAllposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Be careful that one does not wind up in their shoes. I don't believe this is a cyclical sickness. I believe this is "godliness" and perceived otherwise. I believe when one shares with the less fortunate he will be rewarded "if it is in his heart". I can see if one gave his entire alotment (which some have done) but to share 5% with his brother? God says to give and it shall be given to you, pressed down and overflowing. God also says "Whatever we bind here on earth shall be bound in heaven". I say be careful what we bind and what we perceive...Amen~

        1. Shepherd's Lamb profile image62
          Shepherd's Lambposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          Does the sister who gave you money to pay your bills know you used that money to give Christmas presents to others and now you cannot pay your bills?  If this is godliness, then God will take care of your bills some other way.  Amen?

          1. TimeHealsAll profile image63
            TimeHealsAllposted 12 years agoin reply to this

            Yes she does know. She thought it was wonderful of me to do that for the less fortunate. And yes, I believe God will provide because it came from my heart. I did not complain or have I regretted my decision. God says to be a cheerful giver, not one who complains. For one who complains is not a cheerful giver.

            1. Shepherd's Lamb profile image62
              Shepherd's Lambposted 12 years agoin reply to this

              Well, I'm sure she will continue to help you then.  That's a good thing.  May God bless her for her cheerful giving.  She is wonderful and I love her dearly.  I'm glad you no longer have bitterness in your heart toward her.  God heals, and for that I am thankful.

  5. Kidgas profile image66
    Kidgasposted 12 years ago

    Shepherd's Lamb is right in saying that there is a balance.  The question on whether or not to help a family member comes down to what are they doing to help themselves. 

    You could offer a place to stay to cut down on living expenses and everyone chip in to provide for those living in the household.  Unfortunately, this doesn't happen very often.  I know several parents with kids in the basement who don't contribute to expenses or even chores. 

    There is a balance and a way to help people without being taken advantage of.  The trick is in finding a creative solution.

    1. Shepherd's Lamb profile image62
      Shepherd's Lambposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      How true!  We don't often know everything that is contributing to a family member's neediness.  I helped an adult child of mine who made very irresponsible choices.  It got to the point, after I realized the adult child made promises from the heart, felt at the moment, that wouldn't be acted upon in long-run.  How a person can plead for help to pay bills and afford a very expensive tattoo is beyond me...well, knock on brains!  That child is now on welfare.  With those types of 'values' taxpayers will be footing the bill for who knows how long?  I'm just saddened when I'm ready to help a family member and then a $380 car maintentance turns into $900 in an afternoon...no help can I give.  It's incredibly scary being a single provider for a child, and I do save for those 'rainy days' because they DO come.  I have to say 'No' with a very sad heart and pray for God to somehow provide for my family members in need.  Thank you, Kidgas.

    2. memoreton profile image61
      memoretonposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Much wisdom and discernment is needed with anyone in any situation who needs help. Sometimes the best thing, if its an ongoing problem, is to provide that person with the tools and know how and the support to learn how to mannage, improve and solve the situation for themselves. This is called growth and empowerment. Otherwise, if the person is constantly haveing someone else meeting their needs continuousely, then they will  become dependant and loose the ability to solve issues themselves. Then if the person who is contstantly meeting their needs for them is suddenly not able to, the one in need will fail.
      On a short term or one off basis, it is normally safe to meet that persons need for them. In all this, we must consider that we have a responsibility to God and our family to meet their needs, this is scriptual, so I cant see then, how it would be Gods will for us to meet other people's needs to the detriment of those we are responsible for. Like Kidgas says, we have to fiind the balance, so that we are not taken advantage of, those we are responsible for dont suffer, and the one in need doesnt become dependant and unable.

      1. Shepherd's Lamb profile image62
        Shepherd's Lambposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        I think when children come from poverty and learn to lean on others for provision, as I stated to pennyofheaven above, it becomes ingrained.  Not only that, but due to suffering, those children have hearts to help others, including me.  What I've seen in my family is that we can so easily develop a 'Savior' complex, coupled with codependency, which can take faith in Jesus to be YHWH Jireh, our Provider, right out of the equation.  Oftentimes, if we have more money than what we need, we will give it away.  Or, if someone gives to help us and we see another in need, we will give to our own detriment.  It's a cycle, and I don't think a healthy one.  This discussion has certainly given me some more insight to our family tendencies, I included.

  6. hanging out profile image61
    hanging outposted 12 years ago

    The necessity of helping the poor is always a matter of discernment. There is the common sense of unsaved people and the spiritual common sense of saved people.
    We also don't want to listen to our flesh tell us what to do. (ever)

    So since finding need or need making itself known, we need to file the needs in our mental filing cabinet and pray about the answer, thus letting God tell us what to do.

    For instance; a family in distress becomes known to me and of course helping out would be scripturally sound at face value, but, and here's where the old saying comes into play "some people have to go low before they look up". Perhaps God has brought this trial upon them for some spiritual reason. If so, you don't want to jump in and ruin the work that God is doing, therefore, prayer will always give the answer one needs. As with all else, Christ still needs to be the center of our decision making. When its friends (unsaved) i always tell them i will pray about their need and see what is to occur.

    A homeless person on the street, needs a buck, of course i have a buck but i always delay responding and i listen to what the spirit has to say. Sometimes i just tell them that jesus is lord and changes lives but i don't give them the buck - God knows where it is going and what for and i will say, "sorry, i do not feel led to give you money, but... and some spiritual line again is presented. Or God will say, give him two bucks and tell him its from God. So don't thank me... God told me to give this to you.

    In all things He must be glorified and that is when He is allowed to make the decision.

    1. pennyofheaven profile image60
      pennyofheavenposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Your logic sounds eerily like the caste system they have in some Indian religion..can't remember which one.

      Brings to mind a story my Aunty was telling me when she was visiting the guru Sai Baba in his ashram in India. Every year on his birthday he has millions of people flock from all over the world in the hope of getting an audience with him. One day a man just outside the ashram had broken his leg and part of the bone was sticking out. My Aunty and a few others tried to take him to a makeshift hospital just outside the ashram. They refused any help because in their belief that was his Karma.

      I may have missed a few details but that is the gist of it.

      Beliefs can be useful and sometimes not.

      1. Shepherd's Lamb profile image62
        Shepherd's Lambposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Well, 'karma' is one of being paid back (good or bad) based on works, which is not the gospel of salvation.  I know that the Bible says in James 2:16 "and one of you says to them, 'Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,' and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?"

        When I used to work for the Salvation Army, I found out about their ARC's (Adult Rehabilitation Centers).  They are all over the place.  They take in the homeless, give them food and shelter, have them work to earn their keep, training them in the Bible and skills.  While at times I hand cash out the window (I know I've received my reward here just telling about that, as we are not even supposed to whisper that we give, right!  Forgive me, Lord) ~ but, I don't do it for reward anyhow.  Point is, I made copies of the lists of the ARCs and their locations.  I think I will keep them in my car and hand these out the window as led by the Lord.  It goes back to give a man a fish...

        1. pennyofheaven profile image60
          pennyofheavenposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          You reap what you sow is in the gospel and is the same as the concept  of Karma. What you give out you get back. For every cause there is an effect. That does not mean one cannot help another if they are experiencing an effect or Karma or reaping what they have sown.

          As this was not the case in my post to hanging out. Their understanding of Karma prevented them from helping the guy with the broken leg. Yet Karma does not say do not help.

          Giving without thought of receiving is far more rewarding than giving to receive. I like what you do that is very compassionate!

          1. Judah's Daughter profile image77
            Judah's Daughterposted 12 years agoin reply to this

            Thank you, pennyofheaven.  When we sow to heavenly things, we reap heavenly reward.  Likewise, when we sow to the flesh we reap in the flesh (Gal 6:8).  The gospel of salvation is that we are all sinners deserving of our due recompense, spiritual death, but Jesus came that we might have life, to forgive us our spiritual debts (Rom 6:23).  In Luke 7:36-50 we see the man who was forgiven everything he owed to an earthly ruler, yet went out to oppress those who owed him much less.  In this case, he then got what he deserved ~ life in prison.  We are to forgive others as we have been forgiven, which releases them of their debt to us (Mat 6:12).  If they are indebted to God, however, for their behavior to us or others, and refuse to repent, He will repay, as shown in the parable in Luke 7.  I apologize for rambling on..., but perhaps we can apply this to the fact we help others, as you said, and not for the purpose of reward ~ or even to be paid back (Luke 6:34-35).

            There's a great hub out there called "Karma and Christianity", if you ever want to read it: http://hubpages.com/_ui1xcnn62gpk/hub/K … ristianity

            1. Shepherd's Lamb profile image62
              Shepherd's Lambposted 12 years agoin reply to this

              I think there's some glitch in the system.  I went to another tab to look up the hub link by Judah's Daughter and it posted that profile in my response to you, pennyofheaven...strange!  And, it didn't post the link right either.  You can look it up by the title, if you wish.  Anyhow, thank you.

    2. Shepherd's Lamb profile image62
      Shepherd's Lambposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      You've confirmed what I felt in my spirit this afternoon.  I had committed to helping a family member over the next few months, a little each month.  Then, today I find out my car maintenance bill turned into a car repair/replacement bill, up'd $550 from what I had budgeted.  This will take what I had committed to help my family member.  Knowing God is the Author of trials, yet not temptations, and knowing we sometimes jump to help or act out of obedience to the Word and compassion (both of the Lord), He will indeed shut the door, if it wasn't in His plan for the other person.  In that, we can trust Him, too!  As I told my family member, along with the sad news that I couldn't meet my commitment, God must have a plan other than what we thought.  He's been faithful to provide EVERY TIME, and while we can't 'see' right now, we just need to wait on His direction.  Thank you, I am comforted with the confirmation.

      1. TimeHealsAll profile image63
        TimeHealsAllposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        I was under the impression it was $50.00 a month for 5 months which is $250.00, not $550.00.  A little extreme don't you think? Not even close to the $375.00 she gave you when you were in need. Sorry, I just had to comment.

        1. Shepherd's Lamb profile image62
          Shepherd's Lambposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          I was talking about my car...a 60K maintenance is $380 and after they added three belt replacements, replacing spark plug wires and brake pads it ended up be $900.  I hope you can see my heart to help and my sadness in not being able to.  My struggle is whether I should even have my condo, have TV or internet when someone in my family has to go without.  This hurts me.

          1. TimeHealsAll profile image63
            TimeHealsAllposted 12 years agoin reply to this

            If you read my e-mail I sent you, you will see that I have been hurt also.

  7. Rafini profile image72
    Rafiniposted 12 years ago

    I understand what you're dealing with - I deal with a similar situation daily.  Less than 3 years ago, my ex received a million dollar settlement that he spent in less than a years time.  Now he calls me whenever he needs gas money, cigs, or dog food.  He receives a monthly SSI check, as does his sister who lives with him, and they also have a roommate that works full time - and I'm unemployed!

    Unfortunately, knowing the family as I do, I realize they don't know how to manage money.  (they also breed dogs, selling them for $1000 - $1500 apiece)  I have loaned them money, with an internal understanding that I'll never get it back, (sometimes I do - the last time I was paid back $30 of the $50 I loaned)  but at the same time I push them to learn.  Before I 'loan' to them, they have to ask everyone in their family first.  They have to go to food pantries - not me!  I'm not the one out of money!!  They have to call around to all the different agencies providing assistance before I'll help - because it's what I'd have to do.  I have no family to rely on.

    Unfortunately, they've been without a hot water heater since Thanksgiving because I can't afford to help them...they've even been without heat for a couple days, until they sold a puppy & could pay the minimum 400 gallons of heating fuel. 

    My advice?  Do what you can but don't sacrifice your necessities.  Set limits and stick to them.

    1. Shepherd's Lamb profile image62
      Shepherd's Lambposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      WOW.  Amazing ~ the truth is just so real.  I think we have the same heart and you are so helpful in keeping my mind in the 'rational' zone.  THANK YOU FOR SHARING THIS!!!  Even now I'm at a temporary job that may end in May.  I have to 'budget' and 'plan', save...and pray.  This is also my situation.  Right now, my parents are helping by paying my medical premium, while I am paying my daughter's.

      So, where did the million go (after taxes)?  Poor choices?  Giving to others in need?  This is the weird thing about this.  Are many of the 'poor' in that position simply because they refuse to manage money or are hiding truth about why they're in the predicament they're in?  These are just questions going on in my mind and heart...

      1. Rafini profile image72
        Rafiniposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        the million, omg, at least he bought a house!  lol  the rest went to poor choices. 

        unfortunately, I'd say his house (which he paid $160,000 for)  was even a poor choice because it has issues.  he paid $10,000 for landscaping right off the bat! to his girlfriends brother hmm - he's had to replace the furnace, had a barn fire, had another barn fall down, a flooded basement, something with his water....what is that big holding tank thingy?  or maybe it was a pump?  something like that (idk - I'm a city girl!  lol )  and he also has a water leak right now.  oh yeah!  part of the house is missing drywall or something...I mean, there's walls, but some aren't finished looking.  and the garage door is broken.  he tried getting a mortgage to fix the issues (just before the crisis) but the house had too many problems.

        there are so many reasons why people run into trouble...I mean, not only is my ex's family irresponsible with money, but they also suffer from mental illness.  could be why they're irresponsible. hmm  but they try, and they have been helpful to me when they could.  years ago when I didn't have a car, they loaned me a vehicle and a tank of gas each week.  of course, I was also working for them at the time and the vehicle guaranteed transportation, lol, but it was also very kind of them.  I wont forget it, even though there are times I would love to deny knowing them.

        1. Shepherd's Lamb profile image62
          Shepherd's Lambposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          lol ~ awwwweee.  What an experience for them and you, too!  I can certainly feel the love.  I think just three of the nine kids in my family have mental illness.  I am thankful that was not my lot in life...at least not yet!!  I did ask a psychologist once, if there was any danger of me waking up one day with mental illness.  He said if it didn't manifest by the time I was in my early 20's I won't.  I surely hope he's right.  May God keep us in a heart of compassion.  I know that as soon as I place judgment upon someone, the Lord will plan for me to walk in their shoes.  Lord, have mercy upon me.  Thank you so much, Rafini.

          1. TimeHealsAll profile image63
            TimeHealsAllposted 12 years agoin reply to this

            AMEN to that.

            1. Shepherd's Lamb profile image62
              Shepherd's Lambposted 12 years agoin reply to this

              Yes, amen to that.

  8. kess profile image60
    kessposted 12 years ago

    Please understand the nature of life and death, the rich and poor.

    The poor are those who horde all things unto themselves and become fat, they wont give unless there is a return to come from their giving.
    the doctrine of most christuan churches which is the doctrine of cash.

    These are usually the rich in this world and this riches is the actualcause of their death for they are death itself.

    The rich are those who would give even their last dollar, without being overly concerned about whether it is going to be put into good use.

    For they know that to the reciever, if he is in actual need then it will be blessing unto him. But if not then it would be a curse unto that one.

    He also know that there is source which is unlimited and it is already with himself.

    So therefore by giving he will be fulfilling the temporal pleasures of the poor, who is ultimately death unto themselves. And also providing temporary sustenance of those who are rich until they too find their source of all things. Because they are life and without limits.

    Nevertheless one should give or not give with the understanding that he does what so ever he wishes with no other obligation other than that which is within himself. In doing so he maintains a purity of heart before God.

    For he is in error if he gives and then condemn himself in his giving, and it is better not to give.

    Or not give and again still condemn himself , for it would be better for him to give.

    Remember God gave us his Kingdom when he gave us nothing, for nothing is all he had.

    1. Shepherd's Lamb profile image62
      Shepherd's Lambposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Interesting words.  I had to read it twice and still will have to read it again to try to understand, as it's obviously not from the Bible.  I'm not sure what faith you follow ~

      I think it sin if we give to the needy and, if we become poor, then consider the gifts given a type of "IOU".  Is this not like Mat 18:23-34 (earlier I quoted Luke 7, but that was not the correct parable)?  If we are in a position to help, we are to help our family members.  2 Cor 8:12 states, "For if the readiness is present, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have."  Giving to others what you do not have is not a Godly practice.  I believe when we do this, it is out of pride or a 'Savior' complex, and may destroy our own financial ability to meet our obligations.

      Many people 'tithe' and go into debt to do so ~ all with the expectation of receiving blessings from God.  Is it right to not pay our creditors, but give our money to the needy?  Whether people believe tithing is an OT law or is part of the New Covenant, we do not give to receive and are not to put mandates on God.  Likewise, as stated earlier, we do not give to receive from those we have given to either.  How many television 'ministers' preach Malachi 3:10, promising prosperity for those who will clean out their savings account of that last $1,000.?

      No one is to feel entitled or resentful ~ and obviously, not guilty.  God has provided miraculously for me, without my expectation...nor, did I ask for help in those instances.  If He can do this for me, He can do this for all who serve Him.  If God closed the door for me to help my sister, there must have been a reason ~ one being that He foresaw my car expense and made sure I had what I needed to pay it, without going into debt.  As I stated to my sister on the phone, God must have another plan for her that doesn't include me.

      1. kess profile image60
        kessposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        I do understand why it would be hard for you to understand ,as you come from a christian perspective.....

        Since Christianity covers the truth by a lie, they are the "creators" of sinfulness in this world as they carry the mantle once bourne by the scribes and Pharisees.

        1. Shepherd's Lamb profile image62
          Shepherd's Lambposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          Our Bible states Jesus condemned the scribes and pharisees...so, Christianity is a lie?  I'm sorry you feel that way.  Surely, many who call themsleves by the Lord's name are wolves in sheep's clothing.  This is the warning in the Bible.  True Christianity is based on the Bible, and those who follow Christ do not follow the voice of a different shepherd.

  9. Shepherd's Lamb profile image62
    Shepherd's Lambposted 12 years ago

    I have requested this forum be closed to prevent further personal family comments to become an unpleasant forum of its own.  May God have the glory.  Thank you all for your contributions.

    1. Druid Dude profile image59
      Druid Dudeposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Just last week, the Mega-bucks lottery paid out a jackpot of three hundred and fifty million. That would mean a million dollars in the hand of nearly every american citizen. We throw our money into lotteries to fulfill the dreams of a few, while huge numbers live in a daily nightmare.

      1. Shepherd's Lamb profile image62
        Shepherd's Lambposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Yes, indeed.  What's even more appauling is that the stats say 75% of winners are broke within five years, if not sooner. It is said that the poor spend an average of 9% of their income on lottery tickets. Here's an interesting article about 8 lottery winners who lost their millions (MSN report): http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Sa … lions.aspx

        The lottery is a whole other topic, as it is a form of gambling.  How many people live in a dream world rather than being responsible and paying their bills?  The love of money is the root of all evil (1 Tim 6:10).  To gamble for it, losing what you have been given to live on, is just not right.

        I wonder how much of the lottery money collected actually goes to a good cause, which is the guise of justification for playing?  How much goes to taxes?  The majority.  How much is squandered?  The rest.

  10. Shepherd's Lamb profile image62
    Shepherd's Lambposted 12 years ago

    I will leave veiwers with this advice, which I will carry with me all of my days...when a family member comes to you for help, and you have other family members, talk with them to find out the whole picture.  This will certainly help clear things up and keep you in the whole truth.  God bless you everyone.

    1. TimeHealsAll profile image63
      TimeHealsAllposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Let me leave you with something.....I never came to you for help and this gives you have the right to stir up trouble? You have no right to gossip about me to the sisters or create problems within the family. There's been enough problems. Shall I talk to your Daughter or your sons or your Mom and Dad? Indeed I will!  We can both make things uncomfortable for the other. I will call Treva asap and tell her what you are trying to do and if I hear anything I will be talking as well.

      1. TimeHealsAll profile image63
        TimeHealsAllposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Grow up and quit acting like a child for Christs sake and quit playing these games! I'm old enough to be your Mom. Have a little respect. Don't you have better things to do with your time?

        1. Shepherd's Lamb profile image62
          Shepherd's Lambposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          I love you and I wish the best for you.

          1. TimeHealsAll profile image63
            TimeHealsAllposted 12 years agoin reply to this

            Vengence is mine saith the Lord. May God have mercy on you. You are filled with evil, lies, deceit, division and hatred.  God please forgive me for having anything to do with this evil person....Thank you Jesus for protecting me from harm. I love you Lord!....Amen

      2. Shepherd's Lamb profile image62
        Shepherd's Lambposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Why would my talking to family bother you, if you were completely honest?  I have no problem with you talking to any of my family and friends, for I am honest.  God bless you.

        1. TimeHealsAll profile image63
          TimeHealsAllposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          Talk to them if you please, but don't ever contact me again. You are Satan to the bone. May God have mercy on you.

  11. Shepherd's Lamb profile image62
    Shepherd's Lambposted 12 years ago

    I love you and wish the best for you.

  12. Shepherd's Lamb profile image62
    Shepherd's Lambposted 12 years ago

    He loves you, too, sis.  I also love you.  Things will get better in time.

    1. TimeHealsAll profile image63
      TimeHealsAllposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I have lost all trust and respect for you. There will be no more communication between us. You can do everything you want to try and make me angry, but I know it is Satan in you now and not God. It took me awhile to see the truth but I have seen it and am a witness to it. I hope someday you will see that in Him all things are possible. Amen to "His love" and goodbye.

  13. Shepherd's Lamb profile image62
    Shepherd's Lambposted 12 years ago

    Love you, sis.  Please, I pray peace to your heart.

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