Beware of Blessing Chasers

I was thinking about an incident that happened a few years ago in my former neighborhood. My next door neighbor’s home experienced a fire. As a result, my home also experienced the effects of the fire. The side of my home was burnt. I thank God that my son and I were able to get out in time after calling the fire department to request help. After the firefighters arrived and put out the fire, an investigation was conducted. After the firefighters left the scene, I noticed something very odd. There was a man sitting in his vehicle across the street. While me and my neighbors were discussing the event, he approached us and began to ask questions. He inquired about the homeowners, and if we knew when they would be home.

The days that followed were also disturbing to me because I noticed that this man was parked across the street waiting for the arrival for the homeowner. One day he came to my door and inquired about the homeowner again, he explained that he had a fire restoration company and offered his services to repair the side of my home. I accepted his marketing material and informed him that I would let him know whether or not I would accept his offer.

Not too long after he talked to me, another man knocked on my door. This man was from another construction company. He also asked me about my neighbor and offered his services to repair my home. I even received a call from a preacher from my church the night the fire occurred offering me his painting services. Now during this time, I was thinking to myself, who told these men that approached my home that a fire occurred? How did the first man know to come to the home that was on fire immediately after the fire department arrived?

After talking to a friend of mine, I learned that these men were fire chasers. I’m really not sure how they get the communication that a fire has occurred, maybe that have a radar signal, I don’t know, but it’s quite distributing. The reason why I say that is because instead of playing it off by showing homeowners their genuine concern, they show how greedy they are to collect the homeowner’s insurance money.

How it works is after a homeowner contacts the insurance company, the company will send an insurance adjuster out to the home to assess the damage and give the homeowner an estimate of how much the company will pay for the damage. The homeowner has options to either choose a construction or fire restoration company recommended by the insurance company, or the homeowner can choose to find one.

Since I was not familiar with this process, I decided to go with the second man who approached my home about repairing the damage especially since he had been pressing me to allow him to repair the damage. During the reconstruction period, I watched how eagerly the men were to get the job done so they could get paid. The first man who arrived in the neighborhood continued to come and sit in his vehicle parked across the street until the homeowners finally arrived.

These fire restoration men were like greedy dogs waiting to eat the same steak.  Their only concern was about making money. They didn’t show any concern about whether or not the homeowners next door or myself had other obligations, it was all about the money.

This type of greed can be seen in various other aspects of life. Some people do not care about the struggle, pain, or suffering some people endured to earn their blessing particularly if their predatory victims have suffered a loss. This type of behavior is common among ambulance chasers (personal injury lawyers who are guilty of soliciting prospects when accident victims have been transported to the hospital or mail letters to injured victims’ homes).

Judges 6 tells the situation that occurred with the Israelites every year during harvest. Although they were found guilty of being disobedient to the Lord, they had an opportunity to get right with the Lord. Judges 6: 3 says … “And so it was, when Israel had sown, that the Midianites came up, and the Amalekites, and the children of the east, even they came up against them, vs. 4: And they encamped against them, and destroyed the increase of the earth, till thou come unto Gaza, and left no sustenance for Israel, neither sheep, nor ox, nor ass. vs. 5: For they came up with their cattle and their tents, and they came as grasshoppers for multitude; for both they and their camels were without number: and they entered into the land to destroy it. vs. 6 And Israel was greatly impoverished because of the Midianites; and the children of Israel cried unto the Lord. vs. 11: And there came an angel of the Lord, and sat under an oak tree which was in Ophrah, that pertained unto Joash the Abizerite: and his son Gideon threshed wheat by the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites. vs. 12: And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him, and said unto him, The Lord is with thee, thou might man of valour. 

The rest of the chapter six and chapter seven goes on to tell how the Lord delivered the Israelites and gave them the victory over their enemies by giving Gideon courage to lead an army to protect their harvest.

We all experience vulnerable times in our lives when we’re not thinking to the best of our ability. This could be during a time of grief over the loss of a loved one, an accident that causes a disability, a long term illness, a troublesome relationship, or any situation that promises an inheritance. If you don’t have a spiritual watchman to look out for you in spiritually, financially, or physically, it’s quite easy for someone to take advantage of you.

While we all want to think that everyone who approaches us has our best interests in mind particularly those who call themselves our friends, you still have to be on spiritual alert in the same manner that the armed forces are continuously working to protect our country‘s borders. Now I’m not suggesting that you have to be suspicious of everyone, but just be more cognizant of their behavior and comments. Here are a few questions to keep in mind during times of distress:

• Is a friend or an acquaintance showing special interest in “helping you?” If so, is it only during times when you have something or will be getting something soon then afterwards you don’t hear from them until you’re getting ready to obtain the thing?

• During times of need, is the same friend or acquaintance aware of your situation, but remain at a distance?

• After you have obtain the blessing, did you realize that you only received part of it, or you lost it shortly after receiving it?

• Did you have doubts about accepting the person’s help shortly after you agreed to their offer?

• Did you have stronger doubts after receiving the blessing and the person still remains at a distance?

These questions are just a few examples of how to discern whether or not someone’s “help” is sincere. If in doubt, always ask God because the blessings he wants to give to you are for you and not others who only want to swindle you.

If a person only shows up when everything is going good and they’re nowhere to be found when you’re struggling, he or she is not a real friend. Another thing to keep in mind is when a person knows about your circumstance and calls you to gloat about how bad your situation is in order to make his or herself feel better about their situation.

When opportunities of blessings come in your life, use that time to take care of your financial matters discretely so that you will not suffer financially during the following years. You may still have your regular income, but these special periods of blessings may be the catalyst that gives you the boost needed to pay off major bills, save for the future, and make purchases for important things. If you’re not on guard and someone comes along to snatch away your blessing, you may be set back for years to come.

Psalm 112:5 says … “A good man sheweth favour, and lendeth: he will guide his affairs with discretion.”

I Peter 5: 8 also says … “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”

Blessing Chasers will come and go, but be determined to be a Blessing Keeper.