"For what is it wherein ye were inferior to other churches, except it be that I myself was not burdensome to you? Forgive me this wrong. Behold, the third time I am ready to come to you; and I will not be burdensome to you: for I seek not yours, but you: for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents the children." (2 Corinthians 12:13-14) Apparent parasitism

Sure, God would have you take care of those less fortunate. "For the poor always ye have with you..." (John 12:8a) says Jesus. But then Paul says "that if any would not work, neither should he eat." (2 Thessalonians 3:10b) I find that there are similarities to footing the bill, monetarily, for those who don't make an effort to rise above a certain standing, i.e. not getting a job--I'm not thinking of or referring to anyone in particular--and then those who don't endeavor to obtain any joy from God and so must mooch off you. Assuming you have the joy of the Lord. These things, of love, joy and peace--the very things that money can't buy--are the target abstracts that people see about you (and all about you) if you're walking with God. And this is where the parasitism comes in. When you bask in the presence of Jesus with the time you have and you go out in the world, you will give off a fragrance that directs people back to the father. But like a flower that closes, you don't have to let people live off what you have--if they're not willing to get it themselves.

"Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth." (Ephesians 4:28)

Remorseful remoras

"For if I make you sorry, who is he then that maketh me glad, but the same which is made sorry by me? And I wrote this same unto you, lest, when I came, I should have sorrow from them of whom I ought to rejoice; having confidence in you all, that my joy is the joy of you all." (2 Corinthians 2:2-3)

Now, we all do it. Anyone giving off a glow, naturally attracts attention and if we're starving, we're sure to look that way. Cite the "halo effect" and how, maybe, they really don't have the qualities we thought they did upon further inspection. But this doesn't stop you from at least thinking about them. The answer, if I may, is to look to God. "Ye have not, because ye ask not." says James (4:1). There may be some things to work through--check the next verse ("Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts."). But even before all that, in the first chapter (verse five) of his letter, he says "If any of you lack wisdom, let him (and her) ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth (chide) not; and it shall be given him." See, we don't need to take from others what we need. Theft is theft, whether its property or emotional or whatever. God doesn't approve (*tsk* *tsk*) and you will have to pay it back sometime. Nothin' to be afraid of, no. Just circumspect.

Hopeful Monsters

A Quick Run-thru