Posts Tagged ‘America’

I was walking with friends recently when we came across two homeless men. They didn’t approach us or even make eye contact with us; they merely sat in their cardboard box houses, looking at their meager belongings.

Two of us decided to give them money and Scripture, and so we all (there were four of us) dug in our pockets for spare change. One of my friends looked up, suddenly, and said, “Wait, but we don’t know what they’re going to do with this money!”

Oh dear.

You know, he had a point. We have no idea what these two homeless men were going to do with the loose change we gave them. They could buy food and water or they might spend it on alcohol. There was no way of knowing unless we followed them to the store.

This idea of ‘we don’t know how they’ll spend it!’ is sickening, though.

I was also of this idea, once, until God dragged me to a third world country and taught me otherwise.

You see, each man’s sin is his own. Ezekiel 18:20 explicitly says that ‘the son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father,’ and vise-versa.

So, it will be our sin when we don’t give to the needy and it will be their sin if they take the money and use it unwisely. In giving them money, you have fulfilled Scripture’s call in Luke 6:30, which commands you to give to all who beg of you.

Of course, there will be those, like the men we encountered, who do not beg of you. No escape, ma’dears. Deuteronomy 15:7-11 tells us that if we come across the poor and needy, we should give to them with openhanded generosity. It says nothing of asking or begging.

Remember, only God knows the intentions of the heart. That goes for us and the poor. He knows if we are grudgingly giving to them and he knows if they are being dishonest.

But our job is to give. If we do that out of a pure heart, we will have fulfilled our call. And remember, by doing this, you are closer to the Truth than many of the churches in America. James 1:27 tells us that religion is serving the needy, such as widows and orphans.

Once, while in a little town in a southern state, I stopped by a convenient store for some cute lil snacks. While inside, a woman confronted me, claiming that her daughter had just left the ICU and was waiting for her across the street at Wal-Mart. However, the lady said she needed money for [I forget exactly what]. All I had was $3 in my pocket so I quickly handed it to her.

I then watched as she stole several items while the teller deposited my $3 for a slushy she purchased.

Oh. Didn’t see that coming. How could I have known? Are there special goggles that x-ray someone’s soul and reveal their intentions?

Probably not. But I did as I was called, and I was content.

Disclaimer: Well, as we all know, there are particular people who have proven themselves to be dishonest time and time again with financial offerings. They continue to buy cigarettes and alcohol and over time, you begin to feel as though you are sponsoring their drug life.

Money is not the only answer to the ‘give to all’ Scripture. If you have the time, try buying them a hot meal and a bottle of water. Scripture doesn’t say to specifically give money to those who beg of you, but to be honest, that tends to be all we have on us. If the opportunity arises to give something else, try food, water, blankets…etc.

If not, I encourage you to give money, hope and believe in their intentions (1 Corinthians 13:7) and pray that it is wisely used.



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