As Christians we are taught to forgive. Somehow people include “Forgive and Forget” as a biblical verse… it’s not and theres a reason it’s not, because as followers of Christ were not ment to be doormats.
I had a long time friend once, I knew him since middle school we were friends for life…. allegedly. As we became adults my friend feel on hard times. He was adopted you see, his adopted mother was the only person in his family that actually wanted him. When she died of cancer he was given an inheritance even though he had to fight his family tooth and nail for that inheritance. I stood by him then I paid for his lawyer and went with him to his families thanksgiving and Christmases so he wouldn’t be in the lions den alone…. in the end he got it and sure I was reimbursed for the lawyer. I told him then he should invest his fortune into something, maybe start a business or at least buy a house. He didn’t feel like it and he told me he would rather rent and be able to travel around…. as these things go he bought a bunch of stuff instead of starting a buisness or doing anything with it. All through the years of him spending his inheritence on mostly junk, I didn’t ask for anything I didn’t want anything, I just kept telling him he needs to do something with it or atleast go to college with it.
He bounced around apartment to apartment, lugging around 3 u haul trucks worth of stuff. When ever he got bored with one place he just moved again. Until he was down to his last $25, he told his girlfriend he was running out of money and he needed her to pay the electric bill while he got a job someplace. She told him “it’s not about the money it’s about the love”.
Well that’s what she said anyway…. as it turned out he couldn’t get a job anywhere in Orlando Florida in the middle of the recession. He came home to find the electric was shut off by the electric company and she was no where to be found. He started making phone calls, His aunt and sisters and brothers told him “he deserved it and they can’t afford to take care of him.”
Well his aunt was a single woman, no kids, who made $3000 a month as a part time hotel manager. She had 4 vacation homes she never even used…. I just would point out….
I got a call from his sister, she wasn’t as heartless, but she was calling around his friends that she knew of asking them to take him. Well of course I was the only one. I bought a plan ticket to Orlando and drive over to the address she gave me. To find my friend in a green pool because it was 100 degrees that day and the AC was off.
He told me he only had a week left on the lease, he hadn’t eaten in 4 days, and yes he would come back with me to Buffalo New York, but he needed his stuff.
It was then we made a deal… see I couldn’t take care of him either, at the time I was also poor. I knew how he was, if I let him stay at my house he would just lay around and be a freeloader. The deal was simple, he cleaned the house and got food stamps paying his rent in grocery shopping… Nothing too complicated right.
I rented a uhaul… not 3 I can only pay for 1. He got the main things he wanted to keep and could stuff in the truck, I helped him move his furniture and everything, while thinking to myself where all this is going to fit at home. He himself completely unconcerned, Infact according to him:
“I could put my stuff up for sale and just let his stuff sit in my loving room for a few months until he could move out.”
Yes, that is what he actually said to me as I loaded his couch on the uhaul I paid for. But I bit my tounge…
Well he moved in and I made room for his stuff, without selling mine. The first week sure he cleaned the house and applied for food stamps, which he got but would take awhile to get… Honestly I didn’t really care about his food stamps, I could buy my own food and his, I just didn’t feel like grocery shopping and thought it was a good way for him to contribute something.. The point again was so he wouldn’t think he can live in my house forever for free and take advantage of me, I was a college student at the time, I didn’t have money to toss away, and unlike his aunt, I could help a little bit but I really couldn’t afford a freeloader.
Over the course of 6 months. My electric bill went from $80 a month to $400 a month. The house was a complete mess, it looked like a tornado came through, there wasn’t a single thing in the refrigerator to eat, and there was all these strange people starting to come into my house at 3 am… To play video games. No it wasn’t drugs or something bad which was what made them something even more weirder to me. Well no harm but anyway, i herd him saying to one of his friends
“Yeah the house is a mess because Jessie is lazy and doesn’t clean anything. He is supposed to clean and grocery shop, because I let him stay here”
That was about when I put my foot down. He was sleeping the next day I came in to his room with a vacuum, a mop with bucket and a feather duster. I ripped the covers from over his head and said
“guess what, it’s cleaning day I want to see your pretty smile reflect in the walls”
He didn’t give me attitude, Infact he took the mop and went right down stairs to get started. See but I stayed with him the whole time. I made sure there were no short cuts, and no so called “breaks”. I helped him a little bit but ultimately he needed to do it.
Sure enough the next day he told me he was moving out he found a place this morning. Don’t know how or where this came up, but he was out the door and I happily helped him move.
The story doesn’t end there.
He moved in with this girlfriend from Orlando, the one who walked out. This girl was absolutely insane let me tell you. She was the friendliest thing you ever saw one minute, the next she was grabbing a knife and slashing at you or arguing for no reason what so ever. I myself had no idea about this until I came over one day. One minute we were just talking about britney spears I think it was, the next she was in my face yelling at me about how much she hates chocolate ice cream.
I was like WHOA wtf right, I tried keeping a straight face I didn’t know if wanted to laugh or if I was scared. I just knew I should not display any emotion what soever to provoke her any further. After which once again she was as normal as anyone until I left….
They lived together about 6 months until one night she tossed him out the second story window…. literally.
He got a restraining order on her and it was back to living at my house. This time I wasn’t going to let him stay just on cleaning and food stamps. I wanted money though practically nothing, just $200 to help cover the difference in the electric bill. He had a job now so it shouldn’t have been a problem. Well it was a problem actually, because instead of paying it he would buy other people stuff, he would always order take out, and he spent every cent he earned on junk again.
My house was already loaded up with his junk, meanwhile I’ve got packages from amazon pouring in the front door. Come rent time, Nope he didn’t have anything. So after 3 months of this I told him he needs to go and so he did but he paid his back rent before he left. It was actually around this time I converted to Christianity, I wasnt before hand should some one wonder.
Well while he was gone he got back with this girlfriend. And it wasn’t too long after that he was arrested for driving on a suspended registration… of all things.
She refused to bail him out of jail, Infact she was packing up her stuff to walk out. Telling me he was a vicious liar and the police would not arrest him over a stupid suspended registration and she didn’t trust him.
I’ve known my friend to be many things but a hardened felon and a liar wasn’t really on the list of things I’d call him. Besides I myself have been arrested for the same thing, so I knew that yes the police would certainly arrest someone over a suspended registration. But she was a psycho on her way out, and I didn’t care to give her that FYI.
So I came down to the police station to visit, where he told me everything that happened and he would pay me back for bail. It was $3000 to pay the court house or $300 to pay a bail bond guy, the difference was the courts would pay my $3000 back if he simply showed up to court, the bail bond guy would not pay me back. I told my friend I don’t have 3000 but I can pay the 300 if he can pay it back he agreed, the bail was paid, he went to court maybe a month later and got his registration fixed… all that while he took up a gig getting paid thousands of dollars to be a subject testing expiremental medications…. you know a lab rat. During this time he would call and text all the time because he was bored and only allowed to stay at the research facility. I would visit and what not sneaking in contraband like McDonalds and soda and what ever, and I was assured I’d be paid once he got out.
Well his first study was over after 3 months. Suddenly he wouldn’t call me, he avoided me on facebook, and he wouldn’t even text me. I was apparently completely cut off. Then of course while I checked facebook there he was with this girl again going to Walt Disney world at 5 star resort for 3 weeks. He even posted saying the whole trip cost $10,000. Meanwhile I myself was unable to pay my electric bill he left me and I just lost my job. At this point I could get by I wasn’t broke, but certainly $300 would help. It atleast crossed my mind several times.
When he came back to town from vacation i was completely ignored, a few months past when he finally texted me. Completely for no reason I actually wasnt even hounding him over the money, but he just told me he’ll pay me back after his next study. OK whatever I said.
He had another study it paid $6000 for only a month. In which time I basically ignored him while starting on my new job… working for myself and actually doing pretty good with it though it had been less then 7 months. I was busy constantly busy I didn’t have time to text and call for 6 hours at a time… like he did. After he got out he dumped his girlfriend and found another psycho to date.
She called me up and told me I needed to pay him the money I owed him. $600 for the rent he over paid me while staying there or she was going to bring me to court. But since he owes me 300 she’ll ignore the whole thing if I just paid him $300.
Apparently he gave her his bank statement with the $600 check to me for his rent he paid in back rent while moving out of my house. At which time he told her he didn’t realize he already paid and he didn’t owe me anything, now im the jerk saying he owes me $300. Apparently this girl didn’t know I havnt even spoken to him in 2 months much less by this point already kissed that $300 goodbye anyway. This conversation blew up very quick I told her everything about this guy she was dating everything since elementary school. I made sure I was loud enough on the phone so he would hear it.
All night long it was a battle between me and her on the phone she thought I was bringing up things not even related…. what she didn’t realize what I knew was in the background there was him listening. I wasn’t talking to her I was really talking to him, because he refused to even talk to me. He could not even dare call me himself with this malarkey. At the end of it all I told him very plainly he’s cut off. Don’t ask me for nothing don’t call don’t facebook, don’t bother. He picked up the phone and told me I’m a complete ass hole I never once helped him when he needed it, i was always thinking of myself and I’m officially cut off and on my own from now on.
3 months later she calls and tells me, she was so sorry. She found out everything I was saying about him was true and she wanted out but she couldn’t just make him go homeless. She called his family they wouldn’t take him, she called his friends and none of them would take him…. Now she’s calling me telling me she would give me the $300 he owed if I took him in and forgave him.
I told her I’d like to help you, but you should realize he has had ample opportunity in his life to be better off then what he is. I have tried my damndst to keep him from going homeless. Each time he has gone back on his deal, disrespected me, tore up my house, insulted my friends and my intelligence. She can keep her $300 he is forgiven. I forgave him before she even asked. However at this point I honestly think becoming homeless will be good for him. As of now I’m done. Good bye.
2 years passed and I’m here writing this. Once in awhile I get a text from a number I don’t know saying
“I’m sorry for everything that happened, I didn’t mean ….”
I only replied to one of those texts once saying:
“I don’t know what’s going on, but I know the only reason your texting me is because you want something or need something. You don’t want to be friends you want to take advantage. I forgave you a long time ago. You cut me out of your life and here I am on my own. It would not be my privilege any more to solve your problems. So goodbye”
The response to that text was followed by a long story what happened to him and now he’s going homeless and he needs money and blah blah blah. Since ive forgiven him and I’m a christian and all now didn’t Jesus say I should help the needy.
Yup Jesus did say that, and he also said:
“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.
I didn’t tell him that verse infact I completely just about ignored him as he sent texts to me all night long…. I simply sent him 2 addresses and went to bed. Theres nothing I could do for him, to me he is as a gentile and a tax collector.
We no longer have any association and I helped him by sending him the address to both a pawn shop to sell his stuff for money, and a homeless shelter for him to sleep that also provides job training and placement.
The transaction is complete, his debt is cleared and as far as I’m concerned it only cost me $300 to get rid of him. Pretty darn cheap if you ask me. No I’m not angry, I’m not sad I’m not even happy. I’ve simply done my part and it’s all over with.
Other verses came to mind, perhaps christians may find pertains to freeloaders and the line between charity and a doormat. People will try to take advantage of your good nature, if given the opportunity they will do it for years without ceasing. The last I heard from my friend he didn’t go homeless, he found some new girl to leach off of and she’s tired of him. Those 2 girls he’s been back and forth with. I don’t see how long that will last but it seems he’s made a career out freeloading through life so good for him I suppose.
“But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”
2 Thessalonians 3:10
For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.
Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”