Solicitors. You either love them, or you hate them. Just kidding, you probably hate them. But how should Christians respond to solicitors or telemarketers over the phone? I mean we are to love our neighbors, even our enemies. And they probably fit somewhere in the middle, although closer to the enemy side of things if you ask me.
Amy and I went out to dinner with a couple from church the other day and this conversation came up. The wife mentioned something like, “You probably think I’m a bad person for dealing with them in this way.” I thought nothing of the sort. In fact, what she explained to me showed she had absolutely done nothing wrong.
Then this week (and you might think I’m a ‘bad’ person), but someone with the police department called looking for money for a specific benevolence fund. We already give 10% to the church, some to missionaries, sponsor a kid in Bangladesh in addition to random things here and there. So I didn’t feel like I was hoarding money which God has provided. Since one of the reasons we work is to be able to have something to share with those in need (Eph 4:28).
Anyway, this officer’s presumption that I would give an expected amount, and the fact that solicitors rarely call when you’re not really doing anything-I was cleaning up the kitchen-led me to say ,”Thanks for calling,” and then hang up. Of course that wasn’t good enough as I could hear him continue to solicit as I quickly hung up (why is it hang ‘up’ when you’re clearly putting the phone ‘down?’) the phone.
I can’t imagine being a telemarketer. I really can’t. I also can’t imagine asking for money for a good cause. So how should we deal with the latter, and even the former? Should we let those soliciting for good things talk first (or is it just wasting their time) because it at least shows love? Should we actually listen? Or should we cut people off if they’re selling stuff we don’t want? Does it matter how rude we are (I mean there is a person made in God’s image on the line)? Or is this just a time to be firm, and by saying “Thanks,” we can cross the ‘love’ component off the list? Just some thoughts.
I personally am quite firm, and don’t feel bad unless its for something good (usually not for the lack of giving, but how I treat the person). But please respond and let me know what you think. But I’m not soliciting, mind you. I’d just love to hear your thoughts. Thanks.