"Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away." Matthew 5:42
This question comes up concerning bums asking for a hand out at a stop light or downtown at a stop sign or somewhere else where you have to pass by. Should I give to them or not? You ask yourself, if I give to them will they go and drink it up. If so I don't want to give them anything. I want to help people, but not this way. All of us have had these feelings and we have heard from many friends and family about the issue, but I'm not as concerned about what my sister of brother thinks about it as I am what God thinks about it. I find that God speaks to us clearly about getting in touch with the spirit within when making decisions like this. I have done both with beggars; I have given to them indiscreetly and I have not given to them because they didn't look worthy. But in the last ten years at least, when I am in this situation, I pray about it and then respond according to my inner unction. I don't really look at the person and try to analyze their true condition, which we can't do anyway, but I pray and then respond as lead by the Holy Spirit.
Jesus was setting a precedence here by declaring a principle that is worthy of serious consideration. Jesus was setting the record straight on "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth," a certain method of dealing with people in Old Testament times. Jesus was showing that mankind has the ability to do better than that and that we should be thinking with a mind-set of what can I do for you rather than a mind-set of what can I not do and still pass for righteous. Jesus was breaking down the rigid stand of the religious people of the day that had become so callous to the needs of others that even if they passed by a hurting or wounded stranger, they would turn their heads and act like they didn't exist. Jesus was calling out those who run their lives with precision when it comes to the letter of the law, but in cases where compassion or just plain common sense was needed they turned a blind eye. That's not the spirit of the law and that's not the mind of God.
First of all you haven't kept the law, so as far as being a sinner, you and I are in the same boat as the beggar. So, profiling the beggar in hopes that you can ascertain their true condition with a glance is not likely to be the test to determine their worthiness.
Secondly, you have no idea whether the person asking for something really needs it or not.
Thirdly, if you aren't willing to pray about it and expect an answer from the Holy Spirit within, then your mandate is to give. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away. Left on your own, without the aid of God within, the new law is to give.
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