Question: When To Give Up On Someone

Anonymous asked:

You are ministering. Their heart is not swayed. How do you know it is time to let go and stop ‘casting pearls’?

 

There was a down-on-his-luck guy in my church who asked everyone for money, rides, food, references, and a place to stay.  The guy was obnoxious but we thought the “Christian duty” was to help him out.  My former pastor and I poured tons of our time and money into him, hoping he would better his own life.

Soon we find out the guy was using money on stupid things he couldn’t afford, unable to hold a job because he didn’t like being told what to do, and he was trying to date the teen girls in the youth group. 

Eventually we all rallied to stop helping him.  As bad as we felt, we refused to give him anything else: and in the long run, cutting him off actually helped him.

As for you, this is really a case-by-case scenario that will require crazy wisdom and discernment.  But Jesus doesn’t leave us blind on this one.

Let’s examine the verse you’re talking about.  Jesus only says this line only once in his famous Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 7:6 —

Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.

 

Jesus is actually drawing some boundaries.  Earlier he says to not judge your brother but instead to first examine the plank in your own eye, and then you can take the speck out of theirs.  It was a way of humbly restoring your stumbling brother.

But in this verse, he’s talking about the other extreme: if there is someone who is using or abusing you, feel free to walk out or call the police.

The problem though is that we run to this verse a little too soon.  If there’s one thing I know, Jesus calls us to love no matter what. And love will cost you.  It’s a sacrifice.  It hurts.

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Quote: Super-Dad


God’s commands are an eternal vision of our new identity in Christ. God made you know so He knows how you work. He knows what’s best. He’s the perfectly awesome dad we all wish we had — the dad who has fun with his kids and protects them from danger. Super-Dad.

When guilt threatens to overwhelm you, remember who you are: you’re a child of God, forgiven and free, restored by the work of Jesus on the cross, resurrected to new life by his victory over death, and you have the Holy Spirit living inside you that is not a spirit of fear or timidity, but of love, power, and self-control.

We don’t live in a locked-down house of laws — we live within the free grace of an awesome loving dad who wants us, who loves us, and who likes us. I’ll follow that sort of God all the way to the end.


— J.S.