Acts 3:1-8 One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayerat three in the afternoon. Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, "Look at us!" So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. Then Peter said, [b]"Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk."[/b] Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man's feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God.
I've been thinking about this a bit since yesterday and want to add a few things which I've learned (and usually don't practice).In one of William Law's writings he parallels our giving to others with God's giving to us. How can we judge others for spending what we give to them on drugs or alcohol when we spend what God has given to us on foolish things that kill our body or destroy our soul. Yet, God still gives to us.When faced with a decision, I've started to ask myself which choice will be easier to explain to Christ. So, would it be easier to say "Lord, I know so and so would use the money for drugs, but your word says to give to him who asks, so I gave." or "Lord, I really wanted to help this person, not encourage their bad habits, so I decided not to give." Do we want to be making excuses before the judgement seat of Christ?Lastly, I do believe that when a particular person is continually asking for money, it is not unbiblical to say no. Let me give you an example. A girl came to our door a few years ago looking for money. We gave it to her, knowing it would feed her addiction. Well, we ended up visiting with her from time to time or sharing a meal or letting her do laundry at our place; we formed a relationship with her. When she asked if she could borrow more money we said yes but the third time, we told her it would be the last time until we were paid back from the last time and she agreed. Well, she came back for more money and we stood our ground and gave her nothing. The point is that we gave our time to her. We encouraged her and eventually, we began to rebuke her where we thought necessary.Anyway, hope that encourages or challenges someone.
I have read all the entries on this post. I have found many helpful and eye opening things. I think this is great for instruction. I have been pondering these things in the light of my own quest for truth about the sermon on the mount. A good brother, Orm (Ken), from this forum sent me a e-book by E. Stanley Jones entitled " The Christ of the Mount". It is wonderful, but I came upon this portion about giving to those who ask and am sending this for your benefit. I believe what he says makes a lot of sense. I thought about Peter answering the crippled man, "Act 3:6 Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk." He wasn't given what he asked for but what he really needed. In the light of the sermon on the mount I am coming to believe maybe giving money at times is a cop out so we don't have to give part of our lives. I am speaking to myself and repenting. Any way here is the part by E. Stanley Jones it really does shed much light on the subject. You should check out the whole book as it is awesome and what God is saying to the churches as well.Give to him that asketh thee everything that he asks. Jesus did not say that, for this would be ruinous both to him and to you. What he did say was: Give to him that askethnot neces sarily what he asks, but be so full that you will give him something, perhaps more than he asksand better. His real need may be moneythen give to him, not necessarily all that he asks, for that might conflict with the legitimate askings of ones own family, but give to him. He may ask you for money, and you may see that merely to give him money is a cheap and easy and ruinous way out. You must give him moreyou must give him the disposition, if possible to stand on his own feet and be self-respecting. Jesus himself did not give the man his request when he asked him to divide his brothers inheri tance, but he did give to himhe gave him some thing that he needed more than the inheritance, namely, sound teaching about covetousness .Every mans case, in the thought of Jesus, is your concern. Dont turn away from any man saying that you have nothing to give or to lendyou have. If you are Christs you have some thing to contribute to that mans need. Jesus reiterates here what he insisted upon in the parable of the good Samaritan: you must not pass by on the other side from human need. Every mans need is your concern.Beggars and borrowers are the economic prodigals of society. You do not turn moral and spiritual prodigals away empty. Then give to him that askethnot necessarily what he asks, but what he needs, perhaps the infusion of a newspirit that will save him from his prodigahty You redeem others,, then redeem him. Give to everybody, and don t give up anybody."Blessings in Him,kathy