Should the church help a family that is constantly in financial difficulties?


Now, one other problem that I sure would appreciate your help with:

One family (husband, wife and four children) are new members here and seem to have an ongoing financial problem. A couple of weeks ago they needed money because of an $800 utility bill and were going to have them shut off. This morning the wife called asking for help paying a $600 house payment. The husband seems to have some serious health problems. He is a salesman but has been let go at a few jobs he has had because he passes out occasionally. He has a problem with migraine headaches and seems to have seizures because he passes out almost on a daily basis. Although he has had many tests ran, to date, the doctors can't seem to find what causes him to have these problems. Thus, because of these health problems he hasn't been able to hold down a job. Some of the members here know these folks from where they were members before and say that they had continual financial problems there.

The church here needs to make a decision immediately about whether or not to provide them financial assistance or not. Your thoughts?


Some treat the church as an insurance program where every disaster must be rescued, whether it is of their own making or not. While the church takes care of its own, Paul's admonition remains: "For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat" (II Thessalonians 3:10).

It is apparent that the family's financial difficulties are of their own making. When faced with problems like this, we have asked one or two of the men to step in and go over their finances in detail. Their job is to verify the seriousness of the situation and to look for ways to solve the problem for the long term. It is a difficult job that can stretch for several years.

Often the one wanting help just wants the money, they refuse to allow anyone to see their private financial matters, let alone accept advice. For these, we gently decline to help. We explain that we are interested in people living financially responsible lives as good stewards of God. If they decline the long term help, the short-term help won't fix the problem.

If you don't have anyone skilled in this area, I would recommend contacting one of the financial counselors associated with the Dave Ramsey Show. His methods are biblically sound and they work if applied.

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