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When crossing foreign soil, particularly in tourist areas (where they know you're coming) ... beggars (disguised as vendors) seem to come out of closet, all at once; bombarding you to point of annoyance, if not aggravation. And by this time, using one's sword comes to mind (wherever it happens to land), as righteous have no need to beg. Psalm 37:25
However, there seems to be no place to hide, as one can't even open their inbox; most of such requests not even being true ministries. And, if they ask you to come to their country to share your ministry with them, their plan may either be to rob you upon arrival or they want you to see their plight (to guilt you into offering financial assistance). Also, many prayer requests, via computer (for which we sobbed, prayed, and sometimes sent relief), turned out to be hoaxes.
As a whole, and rightly so, we have just about had it with people jerking our heart strings and or unloading condemnation for our not having given enough ... and, as a result, cries for help go unheard. If unknown senders e-mails haven't already been designated for delete file, e-mail gets deleted from moment reader realizes it's another request, advertisement, or bogus offer that involves money.
Yet, because it is our heart to help needy (many, via net, also being low income, fixed income, and disabled), people still try to help by visiting sites where a company will further support 'special named causes' with every designated click ... until they realize, when we do, we are taking funds that rightfully belong to stockholders.
So, we give up and respond that we already gave at office. But, in reality, we're still giving at home ... to our own grown family, often lacking in spiritual maturity because they were never allowed to experience blessings that come as a result of accountability or to thereby discover all needs are met when looking higher.
We have given so far beyond reason that, from pure exhaustion, we finally look to consider our failing bodies and depleting bank accounts, only to realize our shoulders are not big enough to be their God. How could there be any question but what America cares? Only, there is no end of all people. Did we take it upon ourselves to be God or interfere when God was trying to do a greater work? 1 Cor. 5:5 Did we become an embarrassment to testament of God (our only true provider and theirs) by thinking He couldn't accomplish it without us? Romans 1:18-24
The only way left to protect our heart from growing cold is to revert to what we know to do; what we would have been doing all along (had we not entrusted our calling to others) and what we should have trusted God for (concerning rest) in first place, our Biblical mandate. Matthew 7:13 And, being that giver receives greater blessing, why would we want to send our donation to middlemen?
When God places a burden upon our heart, He is calling us; our part then being to report for duty. When we have two coats and see another without, we share one of ours. When solution is not so obvious, we seek God for further instruction. Perhaps 'within our testimony' is just word of hope needed, we happen to have necessary tool of information, or are somehow otherwise being called upon to be their friend.
And, when need isn't met way hoped or expected, we hold their hand and remind them our hope isn't to be in people because God gets jealous, too. He causes people to fail so He can have that special place in our heart. Then, we reassure them that God can be trusted and, by our own testimony, we 'know' He always answers in time. Thus, we watch for God to answer, together, and He always does; giving God back His rightful place (in our heart and theirs).
Then, next time someone comes at you as if you owe them, remind them you are following your Biblical mandate for their blessing and they need to be following theirs. James 1:5
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11:30
© 2005 by Joyce C. Lock http://www.angelslight.org/joycepoem.html http://our.homewithgod.com/heavenlyinspirations/ This writing may be used in its entirety, with credits in tact, for non-profit ministering purposes.
Joyce C. Lock is a published author, poet, and columnist. In addition, she founded and maintains the email ministries "Heavenly Inspirations" http://groups.yahoo.com/group/HeavenlyInspirations/ and "Share a Smile" http://groups.yahoo.com/group/smilesharing/. Joyce's writings encourage us in our relationship with God and each other.