Life on the Margins: Blessed are the Poor
Blessed are you who are poor,
for yours is the kingdom of God.
Give liberally and be ungrudging when you do so, for on this account the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake. Since there will never cease to be some in need on the earth, I therefore command you, “Open your hand to the poor and needy neighbor in your land.” ~ Deuteronomy 15:10-11
It will not bother me in the hour of death to reflect that I have been “had for a sucker” by any number of impostors; but it would be a torment to know that one had refused even one person in need . . . Another thing that annoys me is when people say “Why did you give that man money? He’ll probably go and drink it.” My reply is “But if I’d kept [it] I should probably have drunk it.” ~ CS Lewis
There have been no small amount of debates within my family over the years (and generations) about giving money to someone who begs on the street. I've heard all the arguments against it, as have you I am sure.
Don't give them money because they will use it to buy alcohol.
Yeah, they might. Or, they might not.
Is it for us to make the decision whether they are a person who will or won't?
And even if they will, what then? Is that really a reason not to part with a dollar bill that could end up giving them some manner of comfort?
CS Lewis was more concerned with generosity than with deciding how someone would use the money he gave them. Would he have used that money any better?
At the end of the day, is it worse to have been taken for a few dollars, or to have shut our eyes and heart to those in need?
Questions for thought: When was a time you gave to someone who was begging? When is a time you didn't? What made you decide?
Pray: Ask for God to help you have a heart open to those you encounter who are in need.