Aug. 24, 2020

People Impossible To Help

There are some people who make it impossible to give them any significant help. They will take whatever is offered to them but don’t have the capacity, discipline or heart to really build on what was given to them. Instead of knowing or even desiring to build on that gift of generosity they simply look for the next handout…either from that same person or group or they move on to another source. But they don’t learn and many don’t want to learn to do and be better.

These people don’t mind bleeding you dry. The sad part is their lives don’t improve when others sow into them. Their spirits and mindsets remain the same. Their situations remain the same. There is no noticeable improvement no matter how much assistance they receive. They are like the seven skinny cows in Genesis 41:17-21 NLT

17 So Pharaoh told Joseph his dream. “In my dream,” he said, “I was standing on the bank of the Nile River, 18 and I saw seven fat, healthy cows come up out of the river and begin grazing in the marsh grass. 19 But then I saw seven sick-looking cows, scrawny and thin, come up after them. I’ve never seen such sorry-looking animals in all the land of Egypt. 20 These thin, scrawny cows ate the seven fat cows. 21 But afterward you wouldn’t have known it, for they were still as thin and scrawny as before! Then I woke up.

Even though the skinny, malnourished cows ate the healthy, good-looking cows the unhealthy cows were not changed at all. Their condition remained the same.

There are some people, no matter how much is done for them, there is no significant change. They represent a type of famine. No amount of goods, products or services will improve their condition until their hearts and minds are changed. It is useless and fruitless to invest time, energy and resources into these people. We are to sow into good soil, so the Lord receives a return on what belongs to Him. Everything belongs to Him!

Luke 13: 6-9 NLT

Then Jesus told this story: “A man planted a fig tree in his garden and came again and again to see if there was any fruit on it, but he was always disappointed. Finally, he said to his gardener, ‘I’ve waited three years, and there hasn’t been a single fig! Cut it down. It’s just taking up space in the garden.’

“The gardener answered, ‘Sir, give it one more chance. Leave it another year, and I’ll give it special attention and plenty of fertilizer. If we get figs next year, fine. If not, then you can cut it down.’”

Attention, time and intercession were all applied in the parable above. But there are limits. The Lord agreed to give the fig tree another year to produce, for a total of four years of looking for fruit or results. When the Lord moves on from a situation, we need to move on too. Don’t keep trying to feed a sleeping cow.

The Lord expects fruitfulness. We are not to just keep pouring resources into a dry hole that will never produce anything worthy as long as it is in an unworthy condition. What is an unworthy condition?

Here are five ‘unworthy conditions’ that we are not to sow into.

  1. Idol Worshippers. Even if these people are close friends or relatives. Hosea 4:17 NIV – Ephraim is joined to idols; leave him alone. Hosea 4:17 NLT Leave Israel alone, because she is married to idolatry.

The above verse refers to the Northern Kingdom of Israel. So, it is referring to those who have known the Lord. It does not mean those who have never had a relationship with the Lord. This verse addresses those who were refusing to serve and worship the Lord. 

They had known God and deliberately chose to ignore Him and bowed to other gods. Through Hosea, the Lord instructs, “Don’t have anything to do with them!”

One might ask, “Can’t we all just get along?” The Lord’s answer is a resounding, “NO!!”

This is the Good News Translation of that same verse, Hosea 4:17. The people of Israel are under the spell of idols. Let them go their own way.

Once people who have known the Lord, choose to live under the yoke of idolatry instead of the liberty of God, let them go. After you have prayed and spoken as the Lord unctions you, let them go. Don’t keep trying to persuade them to come back to the Lord when God has quit wooing them.

2. The Immoral, the Impure and the Greedy. Paul labels all three of these as idolaters because they love, serve and obey their lust. Ephesians 5:1-7 NLT

 Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us[ and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.

Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people. Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God. You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. For a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. Don’t be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins, for the anger of God will fall on all who disobey him. Don’t participate in the things these people do. 

3. People Who Are Prideful, Rebellious, Dangerous, Quick to React Negatively or With Anger, Irrational, Lacking Wisdom. 2 Timothy 3: 1-5 NIV

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.

The clear message is not to mingle with these people. Stay away from them. Separate yourself from them.

4. Divisive People: those who cause division. Titus 3:10-11 NLT

10 If people are causing divisions among you, give a first and second warning. After that, have nothing more to do with them. 11 For people like that have turned away from the truth, and their own sins condemn them.

Because our God is a merciful God, some folks think we ought to always go the distance with every resister and in every situation. Clearly, this is not what the scriptures teach. Ecclesiastes 3 reminds that there is “ a time to plant and a time to uproot…a time to kill and a time to heal…a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing…a time to be silent and a time to speak…”

Don’t try to be wiser or more merciful than God. When He moves on, move on with Him.

5. People Who Profess To Be Believers But Persist In Ungodly Behaviors.

I Corinthians 5:9-11 NIV

I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11 But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister[c] but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.

Sharing a meal is a universal indication of fellowship. One definition of fellowship is “friendly association with people who share one’s interests.” (Online Google Dictionary)

Believers represent the Lord. What we do, who we associate with and where we go should all be in harmony with His Spirit and His Wisdom.

 

What do all five of these types of people have in common? Why is it impossible for other humans to help them? Because they have chosen to be their own god. They value what they want for themselves much greater than what the Lord wants and has for them. They discount everything God says as ‘worthless’. His Word doesn’t mean anything to them because they love what they love more than any respect or regard for God.

It is interesting to note how often ‘greed’ is mentioned in these scriptures that warn believers about unproductive associations. Greed is an intense and selfish desire for something like wealth, power, food or any other excessive passion.

The types of people described in these passages are strictly concerned with pleasuring themselves rather than being pleasing to the Lord. We are not to invest in these people. Let them alone and let the Lord deal with them. They will suck up everything you give them and be no better for it. You will be tired, frustrated, without peace, agitated and lacking resources that you could have planted in good ground. Plant in good soil and let the Lord take care of the rest.