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Love does not demand refunds

Love does not demand refunds

If you have paid for an event or service that has now been cancelled, what will your next step be?

  1. Request (or demand) a refund, or
  2. Provide prayerful encouragement, acknowledging that these are difficult times and advise that your ticket can be kept as a donation.

Christian, which of these will be your response?

A friend works for an organisation that runs Christian conferences and events. Almost all of their funding to run the ministry and pay their employees comes from people attending events – and these have now been forced to shut down. Many jobs are on the line, and many potential families impacted.

But Christians are now contacting them for refunds. Not only does this organisation have no income for the foreseeable future (6 months at least, and potentially longer) – they are being asked to return what little income they have received.

The world around us is panicking. But we know the Creator of creation. We know Him who feeds the birds – and cares for us so much more. We do not need to be anxious.

I am hearing firsthand the stories of many people who have already lost their jobs, and there will be many more to come. And if that is you, then the need to seek a refund is entirely understandable and you should feel no guilt in making this request. I have no doubt your requests will be met with understanding and grace.

But if you are still employed, and have no immediate need for this money, let love prompt you to let it go. And don’t just not ask for a refund – use this opportunity to proactively bless these organisations with words of life and hope. Perhaps send in an additional donation, too.

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Malcolm

    March 31, 2020 at 11:31 am

    Thanks Steven,
    Super helpful. I personally default to ‘what’s best for me/family’ rather thinking outside. I appreciate the challenge and sincerity of your call. Thanks

  2. Josh

    March 21, 2020 at 12:19 am

    What about the moral obligation of an organization to give what was promised? Why ask for people to pay for what they aren’t receiving? It seems that the author believes that Christian organizations should be exempt from the same COVID-19 economic woes of other organizations.

    “Love Does Not Demand Refunds” would seem appropriate talking about past tithing or gifts to the church. But we paid T4G for a specific service, in a specific place, at a future time, that we will not be getting. I am, in all sincerity, missing the application of 1 Cor. 13 here.

    Please help me understand, I definitely still think that T4G should give refunds.

    • Steven Kryger

      March 21, 2020 at 3:49 pm

      Josh, I have no affiliation with T4G. But according to their website, they are giving refunds:

      “We readily acknowledge anything short of a full gathering is something less than you paid for, so we will do our very best to meet all refund requests.”

  3. ChrisB

    March 20, 2020 at 11:59 pm

    The flip side is that many of the people requesting refunds are also facing the loss of income. How do you distinguish between those businesses that can afford to eat the losses and those who can’t?

    • Steven Kryger

      March 21, 2020 at 11:22 am

      Chris, as I mentioned in the article: “I am hearing firsthand the stories of many people who have already lost their jobs, and there will be many more to come. And if that is you, then the need to seek a refund is entirely understandable and you should feel no guilt in making this request.”

      • Addy

        March 22, 2020 at 5:20 am

        So what you’re saying is, if I am not in that situation (yet, Lord forbid it), I should feel guilty for requesting a refund?

        This is the whole problem. The motivation behind garnering/keeping financial support (presumably of T4G) is one not of charitable giving, of kindheartedness, but of guilt-tripping. This is not loving in any sense, it’s manipulative.

  4. CP Chan

    March 19, 2020 at 5:22 pm

    How can we help that organization and those staff?

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