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Discussion Forum : General Topics : Giving to beggers

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Nasher
Member



Joined: 2003/7/28
Posts: 404
Watford, UK

 Giving to beggers

I was on the tube (train) yesterday when a man came on who was obviously homeless (unshaven, smelly, old clothes etc.) and was basically asking for money. No-one responded to his plea (including myself) and he got off at the next stop. Just before he got off he turned around and I caught his eye, at that moment I was convicted of my sin. Perhaps my sin was that I did not offer him money, perhaps it was that I did not offer to buy him some food etc. But I know that I sinned.

Luke 6:30
Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back.

Do we believe this?

Obviously when someone asks for money and you know for certain it is going to be spend on drugs we shouldn't give it to them.

But when unsure or there is not a lot of time to decide, what should we do?


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Mark Nash

 2004/8/24 2:47Profile
Janus
Member



Joined: 2003/9/26
Posts: 29
Cape Town - South Africa

 Re: Giving to beggers

This is a very hard one, and I don't have all the awnswers myself.

I'm studing dentistry and did some research in community dentistry on street children and the homeless here in South Africa, wich might be very different from your country. Here in our country there is a lot of christians working with the shelters to bring the gospel to these people. All of them pleads with you not to give to these people, as they are better off if they come to the shelters for food and a roof. If you are to give, give food or other things like clothes, but no money.

Now we can't make this count always. What if a christian comes and ask you something(money). Then Paul says we must give not wanting to receive back from him. But for the one who ask, Paul says that everyone should work with his hands and should look to the Lord for his food.

But I know what you say being convicted of sin when nog giving to that man. I believe God is a God who looks at the heart. If the heart convicts us not. The sin is not the "not giving", but the attitude of heart which leads to "not giving". If we are willing to give and someone ask money and we know its not good for them as they spend it on drugs or alcohol, then we dont give, for their good.
But we must be led by His Spirit, and listen very carefully to what He bids us to do. Let us look ever to Him for what we ought to do, for I believe every situation is different from the other. Peter didnt mingle with gentiles, but when God told him to go to Cornelius he went immediately.

Let us therefore ask God to change our hearts and fix our ears and eyes on Him.

Love in Christ.
Janus


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Johannes Jacobs

 2004/8/24 6:21Profile
InTheLight
Member



Joined: 2003/7/31
Posts: 2730
Phoenix, Arizona USA

 Re: Giving to beggers

Quote:
Obviously when someone asks for money and you know for certain it is going to be spend on drugs we shouldn't give it to them. But when unsure or there is not a lot of time to decide, what should we do?



I have also struggled with this in the past. I have done a lot of work with the homeless and so I have seen how many of them just use the system and they play on the generosity of others to get money to feed their bad habits. But for every 9 or 10 people like that there is one who is in real need and for that one person a simple meal for today can make the difference between going on or just giving up on life.

We can't always know who that one person is so to me it is worth giving to the 9 or 10 to get to the one who is in real need. Pray for discernment and if you're just not sure then take the time to buy the person some food if you don't feel good about just giving them money.

In Christ,

Ron


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Ron Halverson

 2004/8/24 10:31Profile
Yodi
Member



Joined: 2004/4/23
Posts: 663
Escondido, California

 Re: Giving to beggers

Hmmm... I agree with what's been posted so far. You need to use discernment. And there is that verse about working. I think a lot of homeless people, at least around here, just don't want to work. So do you support their sin through funding it with money from your pocket?

I know for myself personally, in dealing with people who come to the church office, asking for financial help, I need to give them the benefit of the doubt and not critically assume they're lazy butts who don't want to work or who haven't spent their money wisely.

Here's one verse that I don't think was brought up and is one to consider:

"Do not withhold good from those who deserve it [i]when it's in your power to help them[/i]." - Proverb 3:27

I personally know a friend who's thousands of dollars in debt partly because he kept lending money out to friends in need with money he had to borrow from someone else. Most of these people didn't pay him back. So you know, as the old saying goes, don't give what's not yours to give... or something like that.

I think that point on motives was good too. In Galatians it says, "If you think you are too important to help someone in need, you are only fooling yourself. You are really nobody." - (6:3) I don't think that was your situation, but that is what the Bible has to say.

So... you know, God knows your heart. He's gracious and will give you other opportunities. Don't beat yourself up over it. God knows that man's true needs and is watching over him.


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Yolanda Fields

 2004/8/24 19:20Profile
moreofHim
Member



Joined: 2003/10/15
Posts: 1632


 Re: giving

This hits really close to home for my husband and I. A while back we would have questioned the motives of almost all of the beggers- even the ones who stand at the same exits with their signs. But the Lord really showed us (as Janus said) it's about the heart. It is not our responsibility what the person does with that money or sack of food or sweatshirt that you give him. It is in God's hands anyway.

We really do feel that we should give to all that ask. Unless there is an occasion where the Lord really warns us in our spirit that we are not to give- this is really rare.

My husband regularly gives to this homeless man who is on the corner of a street (about weekly) that he passes everyday to work. Sometimes he gives him some money and other times he gives him a bag of shirts and gloves, etc,.. that Dan doesn't need anymore.

The most awsome thing was one day Dan took our whole family to his office on the weekend and there was this guy- Larry, Dan roles down the window and says "hey there Larry" and gives him a five dollar bill--and there was Larry wearing Dan's old Notre Dame sweatshirt and some shoes he had given him. It was sooo neat to see this for myself. You never know how you might help someone.

If we give out of the goodness of our heart- God will reward that and bless that (not that we should do it for blessings) but it's a trust issue that God will see to it that what ever is given is used for what God intends. :-)


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Chanin

 2004/8/24 19:42Profile
disciplejosh
Member



Joined: 2003/6/13
Posts: 210
Southern California

 Re:

Something I've been chewing on, so I'll throw it our here...

In Luke 8:2-3, there are referenced these 'certain women' whom the Lord had set free form various things. And they 'ministered unto Him (Jesus) out of their substance.'

Alot of us have alot, to put it simply. And if I am seeking to 'minister unto the Lord' by showing compassion to a homeless man, a female prostitute, a slave to heroine, etc., and I want to do it as unto the Lord, am I minstering out of my substance or out of my excess?

I have been chewing on this for the last few weeks and the Lord has been dealing with me on EVERYTHING that I have...it's not mine. It's all His. My wife, our kids, the 'ministry' I am in...
God is wanting to remove it all out of my heart so that He can reign there unchallenged. That I would minister unto Him, whatever form that comes in, without thought of my life. Sounds almost biblical, doesn't it?
"Therefore I say unto you, take no thought for your life..." Matthew 5:25.


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Josh

 2004/8/25 11:48Profile
Delboy
Member



Joined: 2004/2/8
Posts: 199
Worthing UK

 Re: tube ministry

Hi Nash, yeah me to, i've often been on the underground in the past
I used to offer to go buy them some food,when they ask for cash.You soon find out the professionals.I think that the Spirit,He will prompt us to do the right thing :-)


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derek Eyre

 2004/8/25 13:37Profile
Yodi
Member



Joined: 2004/4/23
Posts: 663
Escondido, California

 Re: Choosing to Understand

I just bought a CD from Stacie Orrico yesterday and there's a song on there that I REALLY like and I think applies to this topic. It made me think about how I look at others.

[b]INSTEAD[/b]
I saw him shaking his change in a coffee cup
Asked for a dollar but I told the man to give it up
Said he's hungry I don't think that's true
I bet my dollar he'd just go spend it on booze
I turned my back on him and began to walk away
But then I heard a little voice inside me say
What if it's really true what if he's hungry
What if it's not for him, does he have a family

How'd you get here
How'd you end up on the street
Where did it go wrong
Wonder what I'd do if it were me

A new point of view
A walk in your shoes
I wish I could get inside your head
To see what you see
When you look at me
Cause I could've lived your life instead

It was 90 degrees in the summer heat
She was veiled in black all the way down to her feet
This is America doesn't she know
Somebody take her shopping, buy her some clothes
She came up to me, I didn't understand a word
I was about to leave then another thought occurred
She might be really lost, scared and frustrated
I should try again to see what she's saying

How'd you get here
How'd you end up on the street
Where did it go wrong
Wonder what I'd do if it were me

A new point of view
A walk in your shoes
I wish I could get inside your head
To see what you see
When you look at me
Cause I could've lived your life instead


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Yolanda Fields

 2004/8/26 13:37Profile
spit
Member



Joined: 2004/4/23
Posts: 1
Upstate NY

 Re: Giving to beggers


"Obviously when someone asks for money and you know for certain it is going to be spend on drugs we shouldn't give it to them"

This is still confusing to me. I never ever know for certain. I mean, the homeless fellows who buy drugs and booze still spend SOME of that they get on food. And why is it obvious? I mean, it doesn't say in the Word "Give to everyone who asks who doesn't have an addiction" If we give to almost any ungodly person we are in some way aiding and enabling some addiction.
Ok, here's what's really eating me. I go street witnessing with a small group of believers once a week. There's this same fellow that menaces us every week. He askes for money for coffee or a piece of pizza. One night a brother took him down the street and bought him a coffee. As you can imagine he was a little annoyed. We've all seen him leave the local convenience store with a six-pack. My brothers will say things like "silver and gold I have none......" Which isn't true. We all just finished slurping down four dollar lattes and got change. Or they will say "man cannot live by bread alone......" I still kinda think that of the verse about telling someone "Go and be fed and clothed....." I feel so doggone guilty every time that dude comes up to use. I'm one of the poorer people there, but I still don't have "none". The dude is drunk and talking nonsense (I don't think he's right in the head even when he is sober) I feel both guilty and angry at the same time, guilty because I don't feel like I am obeying God and being a good witness, but yet angry because I don't feel like being this dude's personal ATM when I worked all week and know dozens of people who I would rather give some money to if they were pushy enough to ask. I feel like I'm mean and rude if I don't listen to this guy's babblings, and yet he seems a bottomless pit, and there are so many more souls on those streets that might accept the Word if the y hear it. I feel really trapped when this guy approaches us. I don't feel freedom or peace about anything I do.
Is there anyone here who can share with me some wisdom on this issue, with scripture (the "obvious " is never so "obvious" to me). Prayes would be awsome too. Thank you.


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Sylvia

 2004/9/18 17:05Profile
Tears_of_joy
Member



Joined: 2003/10/30
Posts: 1554


 Re: Giving to beggers

wow,I was thinking about that all day long and we talked today with my pastor about that some 3-4 hours, and I saw now this very subject on discussion.
Yes, I am asking the same question to myself, what should we do?
Here where I live there are many liars and cheaters, and they are going from house to house and asking for money. But I believe that there are some with real need.
I was convicted once about such not giving! And I start to think more about that.
Fact is that many shall use these money for alcohol and such things, and I think we shouldn't give them, but what about those who have real need, maybe need for their children, fact is that we don't know every situation and every man.
I think we should allow Holy Spirit to guide us and told us what we should do in certain situation.
The other site was , no money if you are not sure for what these money will be used!? I am not so sure about that statement...I don't know..


Quote:
Is there anyone here who can share with me some wisdom on this issue, with scripture (the "obvious " is never so "obvious" to me). Prayes would be awsome too. Thank you.



Yes, it will be great to hear from some other experience and thoughts.

I will give some scriptures in the end from Isaiah 58:

7 Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?
10 And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday:

 2004/9/18 18:18Profile





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