Question:

Good day sir,

Please, sir, I have a problem which I need advice on. I have an older brother, and we live together. He is working, and I am a student in the university. But his character and lifestyle disturbs me greatly. The problem is that, despite the fact he is working and earning money, he finds it difficult to buy those things he is in need of, while I, as a student, struggle to buy those things I lack he makes use of them without regards for my feelings. For example, I bought a pair of shoes which I intended to wear to school. I woke up one morning to find out that he wore them to work without asking. When I complain about this to him, he tells me that I am being disrespectful and stingy with my property. Even the money he gets from his job, I don't know what he does with it because two weeks after payday he will start asking for money from me, though I know he is involved in gambling. I plan to lock up my property to avoid problems with him and in order not do anything that will offend God because it looks like he is trying to take advantage of my being a Christian to exploit me.

Sir, is it the right thing to do? Please advise me.


Answer:

Of course it is the right thing to do. Your brother is a gambler. He may be working, but he has no money. He has taken to stealing from members of his own family to support his gambling, though he would rather call his thefts "borrowing." Of course, what he borrows rarely ever is returned, so it really is theft. He believes that since Christians are supposed to be generous that it is fine to insist on you giving him your things and your money; yet, he completely twists the truth. Christians are generous with the excess that they have. "Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need" (Ephesians 4:28). Note that it is the person who decides to give, not the needy person deciding he is to receive. Also note that the Christ is generous to the needy. Wasting your income in gambling does not constitute a need.

I assume that you cannot afford to live elsewhere, but I still strongly suggest that you find another place to live. Until that time comes when you can move out, lock up your possessions and don't give your brother money. A Christian doesn't help another person to sin and gambling is a sin. I would not be surprised that he gets mad about this, and he might even throw you out of his place. It won't gain him anything because he still won't be able to steal from you, but it will bring to light his true nature.