When a brother does not pay back his debts - Printable Version

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When a brother does not pay back his debts - daego - 09-12-2007

Brother A, a moderator in our BBS, was very zealous in some fellowship activities. He acted as an organizer. He was once lost but now, he annouced, is found.

But recently he was found he had borrowed a lot of money from the brothers and sister he knew in these activities. Now he is hiding and no one can find him. His mobile phone is unavailable.

Those who lent money to him are hurt and angry. One of them posted an article on our BBS to expose his real name, ID number etc.

Some one thinks it is not good to do so. But some others support that.

I do not think it can help the brother. I believe he was lost and found but now is lost again. Who know his future?

Someone cited the verse and said the condition that we forgive a brother 77x7 times is that he is willing to repent.But this case is not suitable for the brother above.

How should we do with the exposure activity?

When a brother does not pay back his debts - DeanZF - 09-17-2007

Discovering that someone in the household of faith--a fellow believer in Christ--has failed morally is always hard. It does not matter if the failure is sexual, ethical, or practical, one person's failure or sin causes pain in the body of Christ.

What to do about this brother is also a difficult question. The first reaction when someone seems to have disappeared is to suspect the worst and to be offended. That may be a legitimate reaction, or it may be an incorrect reaction.

As Christians, we are called to several different reactions to such a situation that can sometimes seem as though they conflict with each other! We're told in the Bible that "Love covers a multitude of sins." If we are to express love to our brother, even though the brother has hurt or betrayed us (or seemed to have cheated us in this case), there is an aspect of keeping that presumed sin under the covering of the love that Jesus puts within us. "They will know you by the love you have (and show), one to the other."

You and your friends are being tested, I believe. Will you allow the Jesus in you to show forth in a very bad situation? Jesus told Peter to forgive 70 times 7, but never said anything about the other person's repentence!! Jesus made this Peter's issue. It was not about the other person. I believe that Jesus did this so that Peter could learn the power of forgiveness in his own life, as well as in the life of the one who offended. Unforgiveness binds us. It hinders us because it takes energy to maintain anger and offense. If we loose the other person to God's hands, God will deal with the sin or the offense. If we continue to hold that grudge, we hinder God! God will usually not deal with what we choose to hold onto.

:lecture: Matthew 18 is the key chapter. It is not an easy thing to forgive financial sin, just as it is difficult to forgive sexual sin. Trust is broken, damage is caused that will not usually heal without leaving scarring.

Matthew 18 tells us that if we discover sin, we first go ALONE (!!!) to the one who offends. There is a warning. If the behavior continues, we take witnesses to again confront the offense or the sin. If the believing sinner still refuses to take action to stop the sin or to repair the damages, we then take it to the entire church and the person is dealt with there. If there is still no repentence and fruits of repentence (in this case a plan to repay the money and payments made in a timely fashion), the church must take action. That usually means that the person would be asked to leave the fellowship and the other members of the congregation would have little or nothing to do with him until the sin or offense is dealt with as required by the church's decisions. Nowhere have we been told to publish our grievances. Nowhere have we been told to tell others publicly that the brother is a scoundrel and a cheat.

Matthew 18 also tells us that whatever we loose (forgive) on Earth is also loosed (forgiven) in Heaven, and that whatever we bind (fail to forgive) on Earth is also bound in heaven. Do we want to keep God's hands from dealing with that brother?? I don't think so. Do we want to keep hurt and anger close to our hearts by continuing to accuse and not forgive? Will that anger and hurt cause the brother-scoundrel any pain or lost sleep? Of course not! Will it steal the physical and spiritual health of those who keep the grudge alive? Yes, absolutely!

This a a very difficult thing to do, but it's what Jesus instructs/commands. Does it mean that we have to pretend it did not happen? No, of course not. Does it mean that we should just shake off the true history of what happened and loan him more money?? No, of course not. That would be sin on our part, becoming bad stewards of our treasure. Should we expect repayment? Yes, I believe we can expect that, but on God's terms and in God's timing. Will the scoundrel get what he deserves? The better question is, Will we allow GOD to determine what the scoundrel deserves and when those conditions will be delivered to the offender.

I would take the details of the offense off your board, if it were in my power. I would change them to say something about waiting to hear from this brother, and that you are waiting to hear him address some issues that have come up in his absence. That allows for a show of concern, it presumes that there are issues, but does not immediately define them as sin or offense. If others look at that and suddenly find themselves in contact with this brother and want to know details, they can contact your board and wisdom will decide what needs to be shared to protect them, or on how to contact the brother.

Does that help??

When a brother does not pay back his debts - daego - 09-17-2007

Your reply is really great. I will post and translate it on our board. I am so glad to meet you here and get a lot of spiritual help.

Thanks again and Prise Lord!