If there should be a poor man among your relatives in one of the cities of the land that the Lord your God is about to give you, don’t be hard-hearted or tight-fisted toward your poor relative. Instead, be sure to open your hand to him and lend him enough to lessen his need. Deuteronomy 15:7-8
Today in the bus going home, a person with a disability stood up and asked for some money, ” even $10 or $20″. Now in usual fashion you had some who gave and some who did not – FYI most did not. Now if we know anything, it is that some people are professional beggars, while secretly doing well for themselves. As a result of this of this, many of us have hardened our hearts to the seeming begging epidemic we see on the streets.
As holy people whom God has chosen and loved, be sympathetic, kind, humble, gentle, and patient. Colossians 3:12
Now as he walked down the isle of the bus collecting from those who were willing to give, I thought, ” well I am not gonna be fooled by him!” So I sat there ready not to give, when my conscience attacked me. This attack let me to relent and give him something, but not too much. So I took out a twenty dollar coin to give him. it was the best of both worlds, I was giving him the the higher of what he asked for so no one could say I was not generous. However, while I waited for him to pass by a thought came to interrupt my philanthropic act.
Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate. 1 Timothy 6:17-18
I suddenly remembered making the promise that I would not give a person who is able bodied my hard earned money, only a person with a disability. However, now that I had the opportunity, I was finding reasons why I should not give. I started to feel uncomfortable, then I realized that I had only made the promise to restrict who to give because I did not want to give at all, and I felt ashamed. When did giving become such a challenge? Or better yet, when did giving to those who needed it the most become such a challenge. We freely give our time and resources to people who do not need them, and when we see someone who really does need them, we are reluctant: ” what if they are playing a trick and don’t really need it?” On the other hand, we give it to people who are doing well, going places and who have potential, but we find it harder to give just to give, with no strings, conditions, or because. Oh, we give to a friend in need, but a person we don’t know who is down to their last dollar cannot be trusted, we don’t know them. Yet the truth is it is often the persons who have the most access to our resources who can do the most damage and not that random person we give a small change to, once and never again.
I have noticed that at times, people are more willing to give a little more to those who seem to be succeeding. We build them and forget about those who have nothing to offer but need so much more. We know that they exist but we do not often see their worth. We do not realize that we have been conditioned to size up a persons worth to us long before we know or understand their story. Sometimes we don’t care. We are too busy protecting the “little” resources we have to care.
So, as I waited for his return I realized that if I am going to be true to my word I have to give willingly. We all need to give willingly especially those we consciously or subconsciously consider the least among us, when they ask us for help.
Give to everyone who asks you for something. Don’t turn anyone away who wants to borrow something from you St. Matthew 5:42