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Wisdom Please: How To Handle The Less Fortunate.

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by kenmtb, Jun 30, 2014.

  1. Hi-
    The other night I was leaving Subway with a sub and I saw a homeless looking person hanging around the door. I think he may have worried the clerk as she turned off the open sign quickly. I was in a hurry and left for home but I kept thinking maybe I should have given him my sub. There have been an increase in lower income people moving into the area. I'm sure most are wonderful people but panhandling has been increasing.

    So my question is, should we give to people who appear to be in need? The reason I am asking is, some people are in want of a quick handout. I have seen it first hand.

    My conscious told me I should have not avoided contact and offered the sub. Something else told me if you give it to him, he will be back for more and not pursue work. Is there a difference between helping an being taken advantage of?
  2. First of all---don't feel guilty for the choice you have made. Revisiting your actions is wisdom!

    Whether or not you had given this person your sub, or bought him one of his own is a side issue. What do you think your responsibility is as a child of God? Is it really to entertain conjecture about what this person would do as a result of your kindness? The answer is no. We offer kindness and succor, and leave the work of drawing the person toward Him to God alone. This person could have actually been a sister or brother in Christ who needed the help of another sister or brother.

    I am sure you will run across other opportunities to serve God by serving others. Try to kick back the thoughts about whether or not they deserve it or what they may do as a result of your kindness. That is God's business.

    2 Corinthians 9:9

    As the Scriptures say, “They share freely and give generously to the poor. Their good deeds will be remembered forever.”
    kenmtb, KingJ, CeileDe and 3 others say Amen and like this.
  3. There are many cons, and there are many who have been defeated by circumstances in this world and are in bondage. I think the first thought should be to help if it seems safe? But always leave room for the Holy Spirit to give a check or warning against helping certain people. I don't think we could ever be far from God by given a sandwhich to someone. But I think money could be another issue and requires us to have a certain ability to be "led of The Spirit"..
    kenmtb and CeileDe say Amen and like this.
  4. I bought some tamales the other day. I ended up giving them away. I gave them away to someone I considered an enemy. Maybe they were looking for a quick hand out, maybe they weren't. All I know is my heart made me feel like giving, so I gave.
    kenmtb and Mitspa say Amen and like this.
  5. Very interesting words of wisdom. I came back from the a trip, decided to hit Subway on a whim and guess who was outside! This time I got him a small sub. It felt weird because apparently he had been hanging around the store for a while and the clerks were kind or weary. This is embarrassing but I felt kind of uneasy approaching him. My heart was kind of switched off. It felt like the Lord put him there tonight for a reason. Hope he can get his life on track soon.

    You are all right, you cant worry about being taken advantage of. It is not our call.
    Where is the Messiah and Euphemia say Amen and like this.
  6. I just love how God is so very kind and gracious by giving you another opportunity to show His love for someone! He will bless you and next time---there will be many next times!---you will feel less and less intimidated, but bold and confident!
    Mitspa and kenmtb say Amen and like this.
  7. I give to people just you you all. I was approached by a gentleman at the gas station the other day while I was fueling my truck. In the course of about 30 seconds, he told me all sorts of things, like he had to drive 300 miles to get here to see his Uncle before he passed away, how he had no food or means to get back home. There were a few other things in there that escape me now. The story certainly had a lot of holes in it (for example, he says he lives 300 miles from here, yet his license plate was registered in my county). I had two $5 bills in my front pocket, which I took out and handed to him and said, "That's quite a sob story. I'm sorry to hear of your uncle and hope this helps".

    Was he legit? I will never know. But that doesn't matter. I gave to someone in need. The burden is on him and if he was not truthful with me, he will be the one to answer.
    Mitspa, kenmtb and Euphemia says Amen and like this.
  8. When I police officer I delt with a lot of homeless people. The majority of them are thieves that don't want to work and prefer the hand outs. Also, there were quite a few cases where a homeless person has asked for money only to snatch the person's wallet or purse. Some homeless people start to think they deserve hand outs and start getting aggressive and demanding them.

    The way I see it is there are plenty of soup kitchens around. If we want to help the poor we should volunteer at one of those so we're safe rather than pulling out wallet out or handing them food.
  9. #9 LysanderShapiro, Jul 1, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2014
    This is something I think we all stop to think about now and then because there can be a fine line between helping someone and enabling someone.

    There isn't really one single answer because there are so many circumstances. I passed at least 6 people on my way to work who were panhandling. There are often at least 15 panhandlers outside of my parish on Sunday (it's in a neighborhood mostly made up of immigrants from El Salvador). The parish has a program that feeds, clothes, and helps these people who are mostly homeless and many addicted -- but just living in a metropolitan area, I have to use my best judgement; when to give money, when to only give food; etc. Sometimes if you offer food, they refuse it. Sometimes if you offer metro cards, they refuse those.

    The only advice I can offer is 1) pray for them, because as my younger sister who has done a lot of social work with them, they are not homeless people, they are people who happen to be homeless, and 2) give to the needy, but don't dismiss your prudence.

    Many of them don't want to work at all. They are comfortable with what they are doing. But regardless, many of them are still people in need and as my friend Donnie and his brothers used to say, one bad apple don't spoil the whole bunch.

    But continue to be thoughtful and charitable.
    Where is the Messiah, kenmtb and Huntingteckel says Amen and like this.
  10. This is what we do for each other no matter what.

    We don't care who they are.
    We don't care how they got there.
    We don't care if they are crooks, addicts or lazy.

    We just follow the second great command.

    Good for you that you did. Continue.
    Where is the Messiah likes this.
  11. As Euphemia said, the The lord, not me showed his grace. I was the coward who would have kept on walking. GOD was the one who made the connection happen. BTW dummy me, forgot to include something to drink. The Lord and I will keep working until I get it right.

    This is an interesting topic because on one hand some believe that we should give without reservation and let the Lord sort things out. On the other hand some believe that some people may be taking advantage of charity.

    I think there may be a middle ground. If you are in doubt, at least let the Lord use you to give some spare change. That was if the person is taking advantage then their transgression will be a little lighter. If they are in need then they are a little bit better off. If a person appears to be in dire need then it may be easier to give more. Not sure if that made any sense.
    Euphemia likes this.
  12. One, don't give them money when they say they are hungry. Feed them. If all they want is money ask them why. If they say they need a place to stay then say wait here and let me call some people to help. If they say because they are hungry, feed them. Cold? Give them your coat. Need shoes, get them shoes, unless yours fit.

    What we have to remind ourselves is that money you have, that home, that food. Is NOT yours.

    It belongs to God. Everything belongs to God. All his. Not yours.

    So when you give food, you're doing what God does.
    When you give a coat, you're doing what God does.
    When you give money, you are doing what God does.

    He gives you these things NOT because you deserve them. Because remember all you DESERVE is death.

    He gives you these things and grace because he follows the commands he gave us. He loves us as he does himself.

    These are NOT just for us to follow. Our King lives by them too.

    If he did not, he would not be The King.
    kenmtb and Euphemia say Amen and like this.
  13. There is no middle ground. We give because all these earthly things, are not ours.

    We own nothing.

    We think we do because society says it. It is a construct born of the flesh.

    But in reality God owns it all. He's The King. All his. 100%

    But because he loves us, he lets us have a share. Because that is what he commanded us to do.

    Second great command. And he lives by that too.
    Euphemia and kenmtb say Amen and like this.
  14. Have you delt with homeless people before? Most of them in my area refuse food because they want money for drugs or alcohol so I don't give them money.

    Read my post again. I'm talking about the safety of the giver. I didn't say we shouldn't help.
  15. That makes sense. The last 2 posts were well thought out. There is so much to learn. I have to respectfully ask a question, I hope I don't offend.

    Should we give all non essential things away if we are just holding on to them? I am in possession of things that are not needed to survive like skis and other junk. I often feel bad about buying things that are not needed when there is so much poverty.
    Thank you for you patients.
  16. I was homeless from 1992-1994.

    I was neither a criminal, infirm of mind, nor an addict.

    The majority I met were just like me. They had circumstances go beyond their control and had no support net to catch them.

    We were ashamed, depressed and very angry that our lives took that turn.

    Some turn to crime in their anger and desperation.

    Now I know you were law enforcement and they have a propensity to be harsh, critical and let us be honest fleshy. So I will take that into account for your broad brush stroke about the homeless.

    As for your safety, knowing you are ex-LEA, I can see how you can forget that God has his hand on you and if death of this flesh comes, it is his will. If not, it is his will as well.
    Euphemia likes this.
  17. Either give or sell them. Possessions that do not bring you joy are burdens. Hoarding is not good for anyone.

    And neither buy what you do not need. Again they become burdens unless they provide joy. Things are given to you by God to enrich your life, not enslave you.
  18. That's why I said "majority," bud.

    Cops deal with a lot. I don't see where you get fleshy from. Do you think that I went to work every day, knowing that I might not come home, and didn't pray? You think I didn't thank God when I responded to a active shooting and didn't get shot? Don't talk about things you don't understand, my friend. We all have our problems, and I'm sure since you were homeless you had a ton of run in with cops but that isn't the cops fault. A lot of homeless people commit crime. It's just a fact.
  19. To capture the people of flesh you have to think with flesh thoughts.

    That is why soldiers and law enforcement are divided. I do not envy them.
  20. When I was younger I worked at 2 different Starbucks locations. One was in a very poor neighborhood, the other was in a very rich neighborhood. I found that the rich neighborhood never tipped, and we actually had more items stolen from the store located in the richer neighborhood.

    I would also do this thing in the drive through where I'd give out a free drink and then that person would offer to pay for the person behind them. It always worked in the poorer neighborhood and never worked in the rich neighborhood. Rich people would take the drink like they deserved a handout.

    So from my observation I could say the majority of rich people are thieves and prefer the handouts. But I think the whole world is like that, it's just the nature of a nonbeliever. I try not focus on the evil that people are capable of, or categorize people into a group no matter how many of them are doing the same thing. Instead I try to remember that love can conquer a multitude of sin, and focus on displaying love to others whether I think they deserve it or not.

    "One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty."

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