Wednesday, December 15, 2010

To Give or Not to Give?

Have you ever stopped at a red light and peered out your window to see a beggar on the street holding a sign that asks you for something?  Did you contemplate whether or not to give to that person, or did you quickly turn away and pretend you didn't see him or her?  Unfortunately, many people just turn their heads and pretend not to see the beggar as they drive by all while they're muttering to themselves about how that person is going to go buy cigarettes or alcohol with the money they receive.  Or maybe you say to yourself, "I'm not going to give this time because someone else will give instead" but wish them well, I tell you this is wrong.  James 2:15-16 says, "If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, 'Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,' and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?"  The Bible says "If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth." (1 John 3:17-18)

Of course, if you were to see a person on the street corner begging for money while holding up a sign like the one above, I venture to expect your not going to give them anything but a few dirty looks.

But, what if the person you saw begging was a little child?

 Or an elderly lady?

What would you do then?  Would you be more apt to give to the young child and elderly than the middle aged man or woman who is asking for money to buy beer?  My guess is "yes".  But, why is it that you're more willing to give to the child and elderly than the other?  

Maybe you have a few extra dollars or clothes to spare to those you feel truly need it.  If that is the case, please give.  Proverbs 3:27 says, "Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it."   Also, Deuteronomy 15:7 says, "If there is a poor man among you, one of your brothers, in any of the towns of the land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart, nor close your hand to your poor brother; but you shall freely open your hand to him, and generously lend him sufficient for his need in whatever he lacks." Should giving a little spare change be all that you give?  My personal belief is NO, that's not all you should give.  Even the man holding the sign asking for beer money needs to know that there is a God who loves him or her and can give that person what they truly need.  The Bible says in Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God."   Even the one needing money for beer deserves to know the glory of God and how He can change his/her life.

So, here is my challenge for you.  The next time you see a beggar on the street, GIVE!  Also, share the love of Christ with that person as well because the Lord says, "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  (Jeremiah 29:11)  

Giving to the needy is important, but remember, Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me"  (John 14:6)

Special thanks to Keri McPherson,
Alicia Marie 

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