Did they really have a need

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Salty, Nov 28, 2010.

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Please read post # 1 before voting

  1. I would give them $100 for groceries without looking at their budget

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. I would take them for groceries, but pay the bill myself

    5 vote(s)
    17.2%
  3. My Mrs would sit with the Mrs and help her cut out coupons

    2 vote(s)
    6.9%
  4. I would find $1000 to pay off all their bills and let them start from scratch

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. I would pay off a couple of small bills for them

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  6. I would encourage them to drop some of the extras

    14 vote(s)
    48.3%
  7. They would have to drop cable/phone/internet and get a cheap cell phone

    5 vote(s)
    17.2%
  8. I would demand they drop most of the extras

    7 vote(s)
    24.1%
  9. I would throw up my hands and just walk out

    5 vote(s)
    17.2%
  10. Other answer (please specify)

    11 vote(s)
    37.9%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Salty

    Salty
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    I have given this story before but, I wanted to do a poll this time, as we are discussing this general subject in another thread.

    Joe (not his real name) and his wife had some serious $$ problems. Mrs Salty wanted to take them grocery shopping to make sure they had at lest food to eat. She was willing to spend up to $100 for them (they had no kids).
    Well, we sat down with them to go over their finance. Neither work and both receive govt assistance. Between SSI, food stamps and ect, they had a net of about $1500 a month. At the time their debt of in excess of $1,000.
    I asked them to prepare a list of their monthly bills. The very first item listed was cigarettes - $300 per month (this was before large NY tax increase), they ordered several magazines,(including playb0y) and other mail order items. In addition Time warner (phone-cable-internet) was over $200 a month.
    Nothing was listed for church offering!
    They were unwilling to delete anything from their current budget.

    Oh, one other thing - he did some work for cash under the table

    HOW WOULD YOU HAVE HELPED THEM - PLEASE VOTE IN POLL NOW
    Note: this is a multiple choice poll - vote for as many that apply
     
    #1 Salty, Nov 28, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 28, 2010
  2. annsni

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    Honestly, in that situation, I'd be willing to help them figure things out but they would need to "help themselves" as well. If I felt the need there, I would take them food shopping to get them some basics and I would teach them some cost cutting strategies but if they were not willing to do it, I'd just leave it at the one time shopping and that's it.

    Honestly, people need to learn what "poor" is in many cases. We are certainly not rich but we make a decent living with both hubby and I working and both our teens working for their own expenses. But we've cut out a lot of extras and we're willing to go WAY down in extras in order to survive before we'd ask for a handout. What I'd recommend for them to do (but it sounds like they'd ignore it all):

    * work on quitting smoking
    * get either an inexpensive prepaid cell phone or a basic landline
    * deal with regular antenna TV (extra channels are a luxury)
    * go very basic internet or do something like a Virgin Mobile MiFi which is $40 a month unlimited access
    * do not renew magazine subscriptions or ask for them as gifts

    But it really sounds like they are not interested in help so....
     
  3. Thousand Hills

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    Based upon the information you provided, I wouldn't be inclined to help them. If they had children it might be a different situation, and I would require money would go to buy the kids food/clothes. But it sounds like since they are unwilling to do anything to eliminate cell phone, cable, internet, magazines, smokes, etc, that their situation really isn't that big of a deal to them.
    Similar thoughts as Annsni

    I'm sure the smoking is hard to quit, but $300 a month seems like quite a bit of chain smoking, and/or they are buying premium brands.

    As for cell phones they might could get by cheaper with prepaid plans. If neither is going anywhere for work, they are likely together most of the time so why do they need to call each other.

    Antenna for TV. Lots of free entertainment options out there, public parks, people watching at mall, etc.

    Public library for internet and most magazines.
     
  4. Salty

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    Actually they would spend $250 a month on the first at the Indian reservation - (no taxes including on Cigarettes) The other $50 was for the end of the month if they ran out. Yes, they were chain smokers. I recommended they cut down at least a little bit, but were unwilling.
    For the record - I still have a copy of his budget on my word processor! I had made it, so I could counsel him on proper money handling.

    Epilogue - They filed for divorced several months ago - and now he is living with his girlfriend. As far as I know he is not attending church. I have lost contact with him as he has moved several times.
     
  5. Zenas

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    1. I would counsel them about their spending habits. With their income it is possible to live without hunger but only with proper budgeting.

    2. I would purchase for them a financial management DVD. It costs about $50.00 and a lot of them have come on the market since 2005.

    3. I would buy them enough food to last to the end of the month.

    The smoking and trips to the reservation are ridiculous, although quitting smoking is easier said than done. I did quit many years ago and I don't want to go through it again. I wouldn't say too much about cable TV without the premium channels. Poor people can't go to the movies or go out to eat or take vacations, so cable TV serves as a cheap substitute for entertainment outside the household.
     
  6. annsni

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    Cable TV is not cheap entertainment. Around here, we have something called "Redbox" and it's a kiosk in the supermarket where you can get videos for a dollar a day rental. But honestly, cable would be the first thing to go in a tight budget. I can't really justify spending on "entertainment" when we can't feed ourselves or keep a roof over our heads. Regular TV is plenty.
     
  7. Salty

    Salty
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    Here in Syracuse there are at least 7 local stations and with the converter box, you can get a total of some 20 stations - as each local has t 2 or 3 extra program channels

    And they do have the redbox here.
     
  8. matt wade

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    With the information given, they wouldn't get a lick of money from me. I'd simply tell them that they can afford to eat if they wish and they need to get their priorities straight.
     
  9. righteousdude2

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    Explanation . .

    When I offer to help someone, I have never sat down and went over their finances. This seems like a prudent idea, thanks for mentioning it!

    As for helping them; after I found out all the underlying facts, I'd probably give them ten dollars, and save the rest for someone who is actually suffering and not feeding the coffers of the devil (cigarettes, gambling, cable television).

    They need to get on a realistic budget that coincides with their actual income, not what they hope to secure through begging.

    This is shameful, and good stewardship would have us walk away until they get honest and real and live within their means.

    We, the church, should never become enablers, and to help these folks, when they refuse to make reasonable changes to make their income cover their outgo is short of criminal on their behalf.

    Thanks for the story Salty. This must have been a hard decision to make. :tear:
     
  10. Deacon

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    This isn't such a hard problem.

    They are not in need.

    If you gave it to them it's like the church is supporting their buying the other jazz.

    Money's tight for everyone, why waste church money on them.

    Wait till they're really to make the really hard decisions.

    Been burned on this before; church pays a mortgage payment and the couple leaves because we wouldn't pay their gym membership.

    Rob
     
    #10 Deacon, Nov 29, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 29, 2010
  11. Mexdeaf

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    I voted 'other'- I'd pay their tuition to enroll in the closest "Financial Peace University".
     
  12. David Lamb

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    Salty, are we to assume from that that the couple are church members/Christian believers? I think my approach would be different if they were. I might point to Philppians 2.5-8, and the example of the Lord Jesus.

    Christians or not, I would try to encourage them to cut out the unnecessary expense.
     
  13. blackbird

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    What Salt Man describes is a wholesale problem globally---the same situation is repeated/shared throughout all nations---I'm sure you can find the same situation in Alabama as well as New York as well as Pittsburgh as well as Los Angeles

    A lady calls me up----"I'm needin' some help payin' bills!"

    "What'cha needin'??"
    "We're behind on our electric!!"
    "What'cha owe??"
    "$145.00

    So I scratch around and then put the word out to various men in church and we come up with the money

    I scramble over to this person's house----and there she is---worried they don't have money

    So I ask her----What are some ways you can save to help make it??

    "Well----(puffin' on a cigarette---takein' a long draw makin' the lighted end get really red)---I really don't know what we can do---we've cut out just about everything we know!!!!"

    I look over and there lay at least 3 cartons of "stig-a-stetts"----cartons---not packs

    Then I glance over at the blarin' TV and then out the kitchen window to spy out the latest in satellite technology-----and summed the situation as the satellite company must be tryin' out the lastest in all their gadgets on this wife and her husband who is seated in his LazyBoy and has his back turned firein' up another stoggie!!!!! I notice he's watchin' ESPN #99

    So I do the math for this couple----he's got his ears/eyes on SEC football---Ole Miss vs MISS ST-----so I can understand his inablity to concentrate on Algebra when there's two elementary schools playin' each other on TV!!!!

    I plan out point blank told the truth---you guys need to lay off the cigarettes and then go over to Wal Mart and buy a Rabbit Ears antenne and tell the satellite company to disconnect

    "OH, Preacher!!! Afraid we can't do that!!!!"

    I tried to make it sound exciting for them-------if they would lay off the cigarettes and turn over their satellite ----- they could take that money and enjoy a "Cruise for Two" out of New Orleans or Miami to Cancun at least 4 or 5 times over a year!!!!!!!!

    I figured that would turn their financial heads and go cold turkey on the 'rettes and satellite-----but in the end----I leave them---her firin' up yet another stoogie and he still watchin' some sort of Egg Bowl!!!

    I only wish I were makeing this up----but its true!!!:tonofbricks::type:
     
  14. Thinkingstuff

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    I would buy them groceries and just give it to them. Since they smoke cigarettes and read playboy I doubt these are Christian people thus they are just pagans in need of help. I would provide food and try to witness Christ to them. Of course I'd pray for their conversion. If they asked for other help like how to reduce their debt I would give it to them In the hope they would follow the advice given.
     
  15. menageriekeeper

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    Buy the groceries once, with the Mrs (cause not everyone eats the way I do). Offer help in making and keeping a budget, but in the long run, when they refused instruction I'd walk away. (and have)

    Blackbird is right with his story. I see the same thing happen around here. An aquaintance of mine is similarly irresponsible with her money, but if I ever paid 1 of her bills she'd expect it all the time (can't figure out why she'd think so, but...). So I don't. I try to make sure her son has his needs met and that is as far as it goes. It's been good for her the last couple of years to figure out that when the money is gone, its GONE. And she is finally getting a little better. Not much, but some. She and I are gonna have to talk about the horse though. :rolleyes: Better a horse than ciggarettes right?
     
  16. webdog

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    My thoughts as well. If they refuse to give up their extras, I'd tell them they can eat the cigarettes and playboy pages if they are hungry. They are NOT in need, they are needy.

    Just because they are not believers does not excuse their ignorance and welfare mentality. God gives the reprobate logic and reason to use, too.
     
    #16 webdog, Nov 29, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 29, 2010
  17. freeatlast

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    Because they refuse to change their habits after trying to help them I would leave them to themselves. I have actually seen this. One church I was in one member was always coming to the church and individuals for assistance. One of the deacons mentioned this to me and I asked her to come in for some counseling with her budget. At first she refused. However after a couple weeks she needed more money so she called and agreed to come in. After going over her bills and the amount that she had coming in which was like pulling teeth, it was shown her that she had enough to make it on and she could even save some if she did a few things. I gave her 20 dollars for gas and I never saw her again, but my guess is that she changed churches instead of changing her habits
     
    #17 freeatlast, Nov 29, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 29, 2010
  18. preacher4truth

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    Somehow, people in churches have absolutely no shame, none, over their sin. Not all, but too many. We have been so "wise," teaching others that it's OK to drink, attend movies, other things, because we are so mature in the faith, and let's not pretend that it's only held to believers online, as to what behaviors we allow who are self-proclaimed, more mature in the faith, and it stays there. I have heard too many persons talk about this, offended by it, and also saying, well, my pastor does it, so I do to, and they take the drinking part, movies, other holiness issues to the extreme.

    Anyhow, in this case, lack of stewardship, pornography, and a lack of shame are apparent, unless some further elboration shows otherwise. But I am going by the story given.

    If members, and they came to me, as a pastor, I would have lovingly talked to them about wanting the best for them as concerning their walk, personally with the Lord, and ask them about salvation, and also, as a responsible pastor, share with them how also, I want purity within the church, corporately. "What can you two do to help facilitate this within your own lives and then extend it to the church body?"

    Church discipline might be coming in to view here.

    Ephesians 5:12 says it is even shameful to even SPEAK of the things people do in secret. I Corinthians 15:33-34, apply this here.

    They don't look to me to be living any kind of repentant lifestyle, and I think I read he has since gone to live with a girlfriend?

    Something is definitely amiss, if they claim to be regenerate believers.
     
  19. Luke2427

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    I would help them but under certain conditions.

    I would quote to then Matthew 6:33 "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you."

    I would point out that it is obvious they have not been doing that and that is why they are in the shape they are in.

    I would then offer to help if they would exhibit some willingness to pursue the Kingdom.

    They would have to go to church with me Sunday to get anything from me.

    They would have to continue to go to church if they were to ever receive any help form me in the future.

    If they had kids I would go and buy the groceries for them but make sure they understand these groceries come from Christ- not me. Because without Christ loving them in and through me I would not care for them at all.
     
  20. Jon-Marc

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    If they're not willing to make sacrifices and give up things they don't absolutely need, I wouldn't give them money or help them out. They would have $300 more per month just by giving up the unnecessary cigarettes.
     

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