I ran into a young man I know not too long ago. He’s a great guy and a Christian. He is very active in his church and attends a monthly bible study group. He’s been having some financial difficulties, so a lot of people have pitched in to help him. His church rallies around him and whenever he’s in trouble numerous people help him. If he’s having trouble paying his rent, folks jump in and pay his rent. If he doesn’t have enough money for food, folks jump in and pay for his food. If he needs a ride folks jump in and give him a ride.
Over the years when I would run into him I would ask him if full-time positions were opening up in his department. Often he responded that they were, but he seemed to have an excuse as to why it was not the time for him to go full-time. He always prefaced his response with the statement that the Lord was not leading him in that direction. I accepted that response and moved on. Then one day I ran into him, and he told me that he applied for a full-time position and was promoted. His salary had doubled, and he had an opportunity to receive benefits. I said, “Praise God! What a blessing!” I asked him how he liked working full-time, but after asking, I could see that he was uncomfortable. He started pacing back and forth and looking at the ground. He said, “Well, um, it’s different, but I know it’s God’s will, and that he’s in control.” I said, “I don’t understand.” That’s when he spilled the beans. He said that when he was working part-time so many people rallied around him to help him get through his difficult times that it was awesome. He said he had more money when he worked part-time because everybody else was paying his bills. With his bills paid his paycheck from his part-time job was his spending money. He said that now that he’s full-time everyone stopped helping him because they think he’s doing well. He emphasized that since he had more spending money as a part-timer working full-time almost did not seem worth it.
My initial reaction was rooted in the flesh; I wanted to punch him in the nose. I thought how could he take advantage of these kind people who helped him during difficult times? I was aware of numerous times he was given money, rides, clothes, groceries, and computers. I even helped him out in his time of need. It was beyond my comprehension that he was unhappy with the Lord’s blessing of a full-time job with benefits.
I could not get his comments out of my mind for weeks. I kept thinking that he was selfish, and had a poverty mentality. He was willing to take the handouts of others rather than work for himself. However, what resonated with me as even a bigger issue was that he did not understand the source of his blessing. He preferred the blessings from the world and ignored the blessings from the Lord. He did not think that when he was blessed that this would be a time for him to bless others. If he blessed others now that he is working full-time, he would be blessed even more. He also had yet to learn that we should never keep a spiritual blessing to ourselves. We should pass them on.