It’s a debate that perhaps you’ve had – either with yourself or with friends. What do you do when you someone on the street asks for money, food or help? On one side, people cite documented or experienced deceit, when people have acted like they were in need when they really weren’t. There is also the point that organizations exist to provide such needed assistance. Additionally, people raise legitimate fears about how the money will be spent or perhaps, there are appropriate safety concerns for the potential giver. All of these make sense. All of these are rational explanations of why we should gently shake our head “no” and move one. And yet, the other side contends, Jesus never addressed any of these. All He said was that what you did for the least of this world, would be credited as good done to Him.
It’s interesting how we want to put qualifiers on our lives where Christ doesn’t put any. So many times people reject Christianity because of all the restrictions, and yet sometimes, we as Christians use our own “logic” to offer additional ones. Maybe the reasons for these are well-intentioned, but sometimes, I fear that they conflict with Scripture. Particularly in the case of giving. Scripture says “God loves a cheerful giver” not a well-intentioned, or a well-rationed, one.
The generosity that God commanded was unqualified. He said “give” to those that He puts us into contact with. The rest, the outcome, just like every outcome in our lives, is up to Him.
*Postscript – Although God has called us to be generous, He has also called us to be wise. One way to mitigate many of the concerns raised above, is to have a stash of fast food gift cards at the ready to add out to those in need. In my own walk as a reluctant giver, it’s been a great way to follow Christ’s commands of generously giving.