Generous Life Devotional - May 8, 2014

Generosity is Not…

Verse: 1 Corinthians 5:11

But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.

Devotion:

I learned a hard lesson a few years back by bringing a person into my home, giving him a job and shared close confidences, all in my generous hope for this person.

Over the years of ministry, I’ve always attempted to be a champion of the downtrodden, addicted and impoverished. More than once, I’ve invited individuals or families into my home for short periods of time to help them get their feet under themselves and – hopefully – a fresh start. My wife and I did this because we felt compassion for those who did not always have similar blessings as we did growing up, and we believed it was a sacrifice the Lord desired.

In every occurrence, I would like to say it worked out. But it didn’t.

Some returned back to their old ways immediately. And still many years later, are fighting the same lack of victory in their Christian walk.

But this particular man was different. He had a lifetime of unrepentant behavior, multiple marriages – all ending in divorce, ongoing and multiple substance abuse and addictions, and literally every job and business attempt ended up in an utter disaster.

So how did this happen? He was slick. Charismatic. Expressed his current situation(s) from a false repentance, which I clearly believed. This, coupled with my desire to see him succeed and experience the life Christ had called him to, was a prescription for disaster.

And, boy, did the disaster come.

Suffice it to say the months I had this person in my home and in my life, cost me years upon years of painful consequences. Often I would cry out to God and say, “Where did I go wrong?” But here in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, he is clear. An unrepentant man, a swindler, is not to be ignored but to be handled with grace and discernment, still at arms length. Paul instructs is to not allow this type of person into our houses for dinner. To instead, we are to remove him from our fellowship (per v.13).

Today’s Challenge:

Does my story remind you of a similar incident? Share here and tell us how you dealt with the consequences and experiences. What was the greatest takeaway?

Write you learned about yourself here at http://www.generouslife.net/day89.

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