(The name has been changed. Written many years ago, but I think the contents of this letter/article can be very helpful to brethren dealing with helping Christians who abuse the help of a congregation, as in this case.
This letter (which Dad wrote) is straight forward and to the point. Sometimes this is needed. Please keep in mind: NOT EVERYONE who are “down on their luck,” looking for help, or go through a jail experience are this way. So cases must be treated individually. That being said we will proceed with the article.)(JHEjr.)
“Charlie:” The last time you were with us, it was general feeling that we were “used”. Serving one another and supporting one another is supported and directed in the Word of God. “Using or abusing” one another is the opposite of Bible instruction. “Bearing one another’s burdens is good; bearing each other responsibilities is not good.
Brothers and sisters are the support team for each other. We are not your support team any more than you are our support team. Personal responsibilities belong to the individual. I cannot call on you to bear my responsibilities and you cannot and should not call on others to bear your own responsibilities.
Here are the specific areas that we are speaking of:
1. Brethren have agreed to aid you in the transition of being in jail and fitting back into society. We have agreed to pay your first month’s rent. This is the extent to which the church has agreed to help you financially. Money matters will now become YOUR RESONSIBILITY.
2. Your living quarters are close to all you need. Walk to work, walk to buy groceries, to tend to needs. The church will certainly try to assist you in attending services.
3. If your first job will not give you the hours you need to sustain your life,
Then go for a second job or even a third one if it’s just part time. Your personal budget MUST BE HANDLED BY YOU. This is your personal responsibility.
4. What is most needed now is to REBUILD YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE CONGREGATION. This (can be done) when each day, you tend to business. No big emergencies. No financial support. No breaking rules or probation. Putting first things first and taking complete control of your own life. It will take time to rebuild this relationship but it will happen if you put forth total effort.
5. Loving each other is one thing – BEARING RESPONSIBILITIES of others when they should bear them for themselves is another. Our love and confidence in you will grow back in time. If it doesn’t, then the future looks dim at best. The present and future is in your hands. God bless.