Defrauding Your neighbor
Lev 19:13 Thou shalt not defraud thy neighbour, neither rob him: the wages of him that is hired shall not abide with thee all night until the morning.
How is it that Christians can rob their neighbor?
There is a sin of commission but also the sin of Omission which basically is refusing to do what you can and should do.
The sin of commission would mean you took a gun , put it to your neighbor’s head and ordered him to give you his money. We all understand that dastardly deed.
However another way of defrauding our neighbor would be to deprive him of something promised or deserved or, looking the other way when they are in need.
In Luke 10:29 a lawyer asked Jesus to clarify just who his neighbor was.
Replying Jesus tells the story of the Good Samaritan. He explained that a Jew was beaten and robbed and let by the wayside for dead.
There was a Priest and also a Levite, his own people who passed by and did absolutely nothing.
He also shows the Good Samaritan who upon seeing the man, took care of him, dressing his wounds, putting him on his donkey, taking him to an inn and promised the Innkeeper that he will pay even more if necessary when he returned.
In the case of Missionaries, it could be the same way. Although they may have supporters who take care of them, sometimes there are others who defraud them.
Before I came to the Philippines, there were Pastors who promised support but when the time came they neither supported nor offered a reason why.
Paul had the same problem with the Corinthians. Their promise to give and the actual fulfillment of it did not correspond.
Once again: Lev 19:13 Thou shalt not defraud thy neighbour, neither rob him: the wages of him that is hired shall not abide with thee all night until the morning.
Paul as a missionary was due the offering but it was withheld and he had to encourage them to give. I don’t know if they had collected it but did not yet release it or what but the Bible is clear: the wages of him that is hired shall not abide with thee all night until the morning.
I believe many people have no idea or understanding of the life of a Missionary. Mostly because most Missionaries are shy to write the truth as they feel others may see them as “complaining” or having a “lack of faith” when in fact, it is the opposite.
Paul spoke up not because “he desired a gift”
Php 4:17 Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.
Some Churches in their zeal to do a wonderful work for the Lord take on every Missionary that comes to them and when they can’t pay for them, the missionary who planned on that support is defrauded.
Whether intentionally or not, defrauding is defrauding.
Then there is the church who has decided their expansion or renovations take priority over the missionary..
I don’t care what it is, if you have committed to give and you don’t give, you have defrauded someone. Better to say:
Jas 4:15 For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.
Jas 4:16 But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.
When a Church or an organization supports a missionary it should be a very sincere commitment.
I understand Churches that lose their membership and have no funds, decreasing or stopping their support but I will never understand a growing Church that makes their missionaries wait knowing full well that the very food and shelter is paid for by their support and it is held back.
When a missionary pays their rent late it is a disgrace for him as he has represented himself as a man of God and he failed to pay his bills.
Speaking to other missionaries, I hear just what I am saying often but I never have seen it on a blog. I however, like Paul am not afraid of saying the truth.
Pro 10:8 The wise in heart will receive commandments: but a prating fool shall fall.
Pro 10:9 He that walketh uprightly walketh surely: but he that perverteth his ways shall be known.
We have some very consistent supporters who realize we rely on them as they respond to God. Oh that God will bless them for their faithfulness and increase their borders.
God is the one who will take care of His people but like Paul it grieves my heart to see those who defraud others.