“I am going to report you to the newspaper, the television, and the radio,” she angrily shouted.
Most of you have probably heard the quote from Abraham Lincoln, “You can please some of the people some of the time, all of the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time, but you can never please all of the people all of the time.” Most of you have most likely also heard the response of Peter and the Apostles recorded in Acts 5:29. They told the crowd that they must obey (please) God rather than men. At the Nacogdoches mission this past month, we failed to please some people but, in so doing, we were seeking to be good stewards, wise and responsible in our efforts to please God.
Many of the people we minister to here at GODTEL are very immature emotionally and socially. These individuals do not want to accept responsibility for their lives and behavior. They want to make poor choices and have someone else pay the “tab.” In other words, they live to please themselves but when the consequences of living that way are imposed, they whine and complain and blame others.
In Nacogdoches there was a woman asking to come stay at the mission. A church had paid for her to be in a motel for one night when she told them she had lost her place to live. She told me on the phone that she was planning to go to a shelter in Longview the next day but she did not have a way to get there. I told her I would check into the situation and return her call. I also told her that we would administer a drug test to her in behalf of anyone willing to help her with a bus ticket and if she failed, there would be no help. When I called her back to tell her she could not stay but that we would buy her a bus ticket, there was no answer.
She began to go through the phone book calling churches telling slightly different stories trying to get help. We are thankful for those who called to inquire about why we would not let her stay at GODTEL. Some of them decided they would not help her either.
Let me explain our reasoning. This woman has been a guest at each of our three homeless shelters on numerous occasions beginning back in 2006. She might get a job but it would last only a few weeks before she quit. She frequently complained about doing her daily chores at the missions. Though she now receives a disability check, it quickly disappears, often before her rent is paid. Her boyfriend, with whom she was living, is addicted to narcotics and takes from her to support his habit.
One minister told us she said she had a bus ticket to her sister’s in Shreveport. When we asked her about that she denied having told that to anyone. (She has been known to be untruthful in the past so it appears that she has not changed in that respect.)
After a week of phone calls from and about her, she became angry with Royce and said she was going to report us for not being willing to help her. She does not realize that if our actions teach her to hold on to her monthly check and pay her living expenses so she won’t have to go through this again, we have helped her. It comes under the heading of “tough love.” The last few times she had stayed with us, we warned her that she needed to be more responsible because we had reached the limit of offering her help and we would not let her stay again. We relented several times but the last time she left, we firmly told her, “No more.” If we were to relent again, she would never believe we meant what we said and possibly not believe that God means it when He says, “You must be born again” in order to escape an eternity in hell and be able to enter Heaven.
There are many people who do not believe God means it when He says those who do not receive Christ will be sent to hell. They think God’s love will cause Him to let everyone go to Heaven, no matter what they believe or how they act. Unbelief leads to inaction, unchanged choices and ultimately to disaster and destruction. God is love and has done all necessary to enable mankind to enter the eternal bliss of Heaven. If, however, we never admit we have sinned, acknowledge that we deserve to go to hell, invite Jesus into our hearts and take over the control of our lives, and unconditionally surrender our will to His will, when the time for judgment arrives, He will tell even those who call Him Lord, to depart from Him. (See Matthew 7:21-23.)
We tell our residents that it is not right for us to allow them to be lazy and/or not spend their money wisely while we accept money for their support from caring hard-working people and those on fixed incomes. Though we will continue to feed those no longer welcome to live at the mission (under most circumstances), we do have a sign posted at our food-serving windows which has a quote from the Apostle Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonians, specifically, Chapter 3, Verse 10, which says, “If any one will not work, neither let him eat.” (All who live at any of our missions must abide by house rules and do daily “housekeeping” chores.)
We do implement the teachings of Scripture and earnestly pray for God’s guidance and we do extend mercy repeatedly. However, as God shut the door of the ark and allowed every human who had rejected the warnings of Noah to be killed, we sometimes shut the door to our shelter to those who have proved themselves to be uncooperative. “He that being often reproved, hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.” Proverbs 29:1
Polk County Concert
There was a lot of talent demonstrated and enjoyed at February’s Relay for Life Concert which raised $1,500 for the American Cancer Society. It was such fun, we plan to do it again next year (that is, if Jesus delays His return that long).
Until next month, read your Bible, pray, and obey. God is watching. –Nancy Gentry
Pensinger Praise Report!
According to the most recent PET Scan,
Rick’s cancer is gone!
(More details next month.)