The other day a man approached my daughter and me in the parking lot of the store we had just left asking for money. You’ve probably had that happen to you, too. It used to be really awkward for me. That was before I had a thoughtful, Bible-backed policy settled in my heart. It is based on Micah 6:8 “He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee. but to do justly and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”
Why was it always so awkward for me? Well, I could always hear the voices of the skeptics in my life shout, “Don’t be a chump!” “They are conning you!” “He is just going to spend it on booze or drugs!” …and the ever popular, “They are running a racket! They probably make more money than you do by begging on the street every day.”
Then there is that Other Voice I hear as I drive on, or shrug and walk away. The One that says, “When you have done it to the least of these….you have done it unto Me.” (Matt. 25:40) The same Voice that says, “… to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.” (Micah 6:8) And what about “entertaining angels unaware?” (Hebrews 13:2) Or the One that says, “Give to him that asks of you.” (Luke 6:30) These are the seeds of the Word of God that have been planted in my heart; are grown up and ready to bear fruit. So it is settled in my mind now. I can chart my course, and know what to do when the situation arises. Do what the Voice of Truth tells me to do.
Jesus is the One I answer to for my actions. I can’t base my actions on what the other person might think or do. I must base them on the Word of God. So if I give, I give as though I am giving to Jesus Himself. And pray that Jesus will have mercy on the other person, and save him.
I once read an article by a woman who was always prepared for these occasions. She kept a few zip-lock bags in her car or purse. The bags contained a little money, ($5- or enough to buy a fast food meal), a pack of gum, some candy, and maybe a Gospel tract.) She could always add more money if she felt the nudge to do more.
I have to say that I am not as prepared as this woman was, (I hardly ever carry cash since the advent of the debit card) but since being caught short by the man in the story above, I am going to try this little prep. Times are tough, and there are so many needs. It is time to be His hands extended. Like a true Good Samaritan.
Don’t forget the story of Peter and John when they were caught short of coinage when a lame man asked them for alms! They offered him what they did have: “Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have I give unto thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of i, rise up and walk!” (Acts 3:6) Always pray. If you can’t pray for them on the spot, tell them you will be praying each day. Then do it! Let them know that Jesus loves them. Be available for Him to use. Like the Good Samaritan.
Let’s pray: Heavenly Father, lead us day by day, to those that you want to love through us. Help us to walk in your mercy and love, moment by moment, listening to Your Voice as we go. Teach us to “do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly befor you. In Jesus’ name,