I got a message from someone the other day that said, ‘I’m so glad you’re on our side.’ I get that it came from a good place and that she meant well, and I took all that into account before I answered back with, ‘you should be glad I fear God instead.’
Someone being on our side is not enough. Many people on our side have no qualms about using us, and by us, I mean Christians in general, as their piggy bank, there to be cracked open when the need arises. I’ve seen this time and again, when just because they call themselves a believer, an individual expects you to hire them at double the cost for half the services. And that’s if they’re willing to put in the effort.
There is another subset that believes you must never say no, no matter how absurd the request, because if you do, then you’re not loving. Maybe it’s this generation. Perhaps never having had to get their hands dirty or work a double shift prohibits them from understanding that daily bread is earned with the sweat of one’s brow. Maybe they just don’t care and believe everything comes easy, regardless of whom you hurt to get it.
It’s the worst kind of feeling when someone who calls themselves a brother asks for help, you offer them a job that pays, and they turn around and say, can’t you just help me out?
Some men’s actions aren’t in harmony with the title of believer they assign to themselves.
I’ve seen this play out in the world as well, wherein every company from roofing to concrete, to lawn care, to maid services has something relating to the armed forces in their title. It’s always something bombastic too, like Semper Fi Roofing, SEALS Pool Cleaners, or Green Beret Lawn Service, but when you take a closer look, the only armed forces the guys doing the work could have been in was the Mexican Army. Not trying to nitpick, but I think you have to be able to speak English in order to join the Green Berets.
Christians are easy marks, and the unscrupulous have caught on to this. Since Christians are the unlikeliest demographic to complain or get litigious, we are targeted with zeal and fervor. Christian is slapped in front of everything nowadays, from Christian tattoo artists to Christian podiatrists, because we tend to pay our bills on time and overlook less-than-stellar service.
Granted, there’s a difference between someone whom you’ve been going to church with for two decades and who happens to run a lawn care service and someone who has a cross on the side of their truck that’s leaving pamphlets under the windshield wipers of every car in the church parking lot.
Just as every branch is not fruitful, not everyone calling themselves a Christian is an individual of noble character or even a Christian. Usually, having character and being fruitful go hand in hand, so if you see the one, you’re likely to see the other. By the same token, if there is no fruit, then be prepared for there to be no character as well.
I’ve had pastor friends who got taken for six figures by people pretending to be believers, bidding on a job for the church, then running off with the money as soon as the check cleared. Our naïveté and credulity are endearing, but only to a certain point. Once that point is reached, all we are, are marks to be taken advantage of and abused by soulless ghouls who see easy pickings and nothing more.
This is another one of those public service sort of posts because the more desperate people will become in the coming months, the more they will search out easy scores and soft targets, which they will attempt to separate from their hard-earned savings.
May we never forget that we live in a fallen world, and there are many who say they are of the family of God, who are not. Use wisdom in all things, not just some, and you will see the danger pass you by without negatively affecting you or your household.
I get that your first instinct is to give people the benefit of the doubt, but don’t let your first instinct bypass discernment in your decision-making process.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea, Jr.