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Culture of Selflessness   [ Menu ]

Culture of Selflessness

Overcoming the "FOR FREE" Mentality

Regarding the writing, titled, "When Offering Help", it is further important to take this moment to make some additional clarification. That is the purpose of this writing herewith.

In addition to protecting this ministry from being vulnerable to potentially being "held hostage" or even blackmailed (even if people honestly do so without realizing it), we are also wanting to protect people's feelings from being hurt from a misunderstanding BEFORE it could happen by addressing it this way.

The "FOR FREE" mentality poses great danger to any Christian ministry and, and is no different. And unless addressed, it can indeed cause hurt feelings from misunderstandings.

Accordingly, the reason we use the "PAID EMPLOYEE" analogy (in that other writing) is to try to convey how, when someone is indeed working as a "PAID EMPLOYEE", they would NEVER NEVER NEVER even think of putting the organization into the vulnerable position of being "held hostage" or blackmailed to their insistences. It also would seek to encourage helpers to be sure to humbly listen to authorized leaders in the organization and to be sure that they only offer their help selflessly. But we do not have to be "locked in" to the "PAID EMPLOYEE" analogy! If someone can offer a better analogy with which to convey these similar principles, such are welcome indeed. :-)

Just in case it needs to be known, no one here at this ministry is "angry" at anyone, neither are we pointing a finger at anyone, nor are we out to hurt anyone with any of this. Just the opposite! It is understood how people can make this mistake of thinking in terms of "FOR FREE" mentality. This has happened more than once over the years, ranging from extreme things to mere minor implications. So, we are only herewith trying to put forth an effective way to prevent people from getting hurt from otherwise making this mistake of thinking in terms of the "FOR FREE" mentality.

Indeed, in situations where the mistake has been made as a result of that "FOR FREE" mentality, sometimes there is seemingly no ministering way at that point with which to communicate to the person who made the mistake, to inform them of the profoundly dangerous position into which they had just put this ministry with such mistaken perceptions, insistences, or demanded "strings attached". After such a thing has happened, how do you tell someone that their actions are practically blackmailing the ministry without them feeling hurt or attacked, even though all you're trying to do is ask them to see it so that they will remove that ungodly pressure and "threat"? After all, if they're not able to see it themselves already, are they even spiritually mature enough to handle being shown it without their reacting to being shown it with feelings as though they were being accused of something profoundly negative? Maybe they ARE spiritually mature enough to handle being told, but if they are not able to see this dangerous situation in the first place, can that really be known about them with all confidence? So, even telling them becomes an additional sort of blackmail in that, to even tell them poses the very great risk of turning them into a seeming "enemy" after which they then leave and take their offer to help with them. No, the dynamics of this kind of situation are just very dysfunctional all around, and the last thing we would want to do is cause someone to misperceive us, our leaders, or even the Founder, as supposedly hurting them with it --- especially considering that all we would have been doing was simply trying to help them restore the situation to a workable Godly way.

So, rather than have that kind of difficult dysfunctional situation "after the fact", it thus seems to be best to have a sort of "policy" or understanding about these issues BEFORE THE FACT, so that everyone could ever be aware to not let it happen (protecting people from having their feelings hurt). And that's the point here, in using the "PAID EMPLOYEE" analogy in demonstrating the need, and in providing the solution, to overcome the "FOR FREE" mentality.

For indeed, the source of all these particular difficulties is from the view when any helper thinks they are helping "FOR FREE" (when the truth is, if they are doing this as "service to Christ", then it is NOT "for free" because Christ has pre-paid them in full at the Cross).

And so, to overcome that "FOR FREE" mentality which is the source of the matter, the other writing used the "PAID EMPLOYEE" concept as the analogy.

This most assuredly is not trying to get into the idea of turning helpers into "employees", mind you. Like it was said, it was only trying to use an analogy to explain why the "FOR FREE" idea is not righteous thinking, and that it actually is instead a dangerous mentality to this ministry. (If anyone can come up with a far better analogy than the "PAID EMPLOYEE" analogy, all of us here are in the organization, especially the Founder, are certainly "all ears".)

So, again, the purpose of all this is to have something here at the web-site for all people to read when they are considering to offer help to this ministry. This, therefore, becomes a sort "pre-emptive" approach to this problem BEFORE it can even happen.

That way, after someone who is willing to help has read these writings, they will know that their offers to help this ministry out of "service to Christ" must truly NOT be done with the "FOR FREE" mentality (and certainly not with "strings attached"), so that such good helpers can then be ever consciously aware of not making the mistake of otherwise putting this ministry into the vulnerable position of being "held hostage" or even potentially blackmailed to whatever a helper insists.

By all such helpers knowing these issues "up front", they will not make that otherwise understandable mistake. And such good and geneuine helpers will also be more openhearted to humbly listening to and selflessly working with the authorized leaders in this organization.

Anyway, by having this way to help prevent anyone from making that mistake, this ministry will be able to receive help as being the true help it is, truly as a "service to Christ", and also, the organization will not be vulnerable to such dangerous things as "blackmail" (et al) again. And best of all, no one will have their feelings hurt from this kind of situation (which is really the biggest thing we desire out of all of this). Praise the Lord for THAT (i.e., having a way for people to not have hurt feelings in something)!

So, this "pre-emptive" approach is necessary for the protection of all who offer their help and for the effective functioning of this organization. The "PAID EMPLOYEE" analogy was used to try to convey how righteous thinking can best occur.

Of course, though, if anyone can come up with a better analogy which still conveys what is trying to be conveyed here, then, by all good means, such ones are encouraged to please do share it!

May the love of the Lord Christ Jesus be with us.

The above was originally written and posted to
The Fellowhelpers listserv of FAF, on October 04, 2000.

The above was written as further clarification for the other important writing:
When Offering Help

© October 04, 2000,
P.O. Box 765, O.O.B., ME 04064
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