You’re out taking a walk during your lunch break and notice he is there again. Sitting on that same street corner looking lost and forlorn. As you walk by all of a sudden you see his eyes dart to you, and then he starts lifting up his tin cup.
Can you spare a little change? I haven’t eaten in a couple days.
You just have to throw some money into his cup because, well, you just should. That’s what Jesus would do, right?
Then one day you’re in your car, and suddenly you spot a young mother standing on a street corner with her little girl. They’re holding up a sign saying they’re homeless and they need money. You can’t stand it – you must stop and try to help them out of their dilemma.
We’ve all done it, right?
But then comes the day during lunch when you’re taking a walk again down that same street, and you see in the distance the lost forlorn man heading into the nearest liquor store.
And as you’re driving home you spot the same woman and child at the street corner you helped previously, but they’re being hugged and picked up by a man in a nice car who has a big smile on his face.
You can almost hear the woman saying: We had a nice haul today, sweetie!
You feel like you’re going to puke. It’s all been a scam, and you feel used.
If there’s one thing that gets under my craw more than anything else, it’s when someone lies to make people feel sorry for them.
Years ago I knew a gal who said she was in serious financial trouble. She hadn’t been able to pay her rent for 2 months, and had to get rid of basically everything she owned except her car.
I was distraught – how could I help her? With Gary’s permission, I anonymously sent her some money to pay for her bills.
But then I found out the truth, and my soft heart turned cold…
I was asking another friend how this particular gal was doing one day, and she unloaded the truth about her situation.
Yes, she hadn’t been able to pay her rent, and had to give up nearly all her possessions, however she refused to give up certain things such as getting her nails done professionally, and buying nice new clothes!
Also, the job where this gal was employed had a program to help employees who were struggling financially. Their prerequisite? They wanted copies of all receipts so they could keep track of where the people on the program were spending their money. Certainly made sense.
But this gal refused to turn in her receipts, stating it’s none of anyone’s business how she spends her money. Then she went on to say how she felt she wasn’t being given a fair chance for the program, because she refused to dress like a poor person!
The real clincher came a couple weeks later when I heard that another friend of ours was looking for some minor assistance with their special needs daughter who had her own apartment. All that was required was to help her get her shoes on in the morning, and to sleep in the apartment at night “just in case.” No rent would have to be paid – she would just have to split the utilities.
Wow, I thought – what an answer to prayer!
I ran into this gal one day shortly after, and asked her how she’d been doing. Did she move in with the gal who needed help?
She looked at me and said “no, she just couldn’t do that.” Why? She just wasn’t comfortable with the situation.
I don’t know about you, but if someone really needs money, wouldn’t you do what you need to – even if it might not be ideal? Everyone who knew her all thought that the situation was an awesome answer to prayer.
We are in a sad state of affairs. This gal claimed to be a Christian, was in Bible studies, and went to church regularly. Yet instead of taking the opportunities God was setting before her to help her financially, she was shoving them aside – complaining all the while about how she wasn’t able to get what she felt she deserved!
Confirmation again as to how the Bible is true. In 2 Timothy 3:2, it says people will think of themselves more than others – and it’s getting worse!
So how do you know when to give to someone and when to not? I really don’t have an answer. Really all you can do is pray and ask for direction from the Lord. And then leave the results to Him. He is the righteous and just Judge (Isaiah 33:22) – nothing will escape from His notice.