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We know that people will take advantage of the church. Recently, I was in a service where a young woman showed up asking for ‘food’ and I overheard one member saying that the congregation had already helped her once. The woman had sat next to me during the service. She asked me if I could help her with ‘just food.’ I realize that some advise people not to give money to those who are ‘begging’ while others advise that it’s not for us to judge the person but to give if we’re able to give. My thoughts that day were that this woman’s problems go far deeper and she wasn’t just wanting to scam people for money. I tried to focus in on her as an individual and see her spiritual needs but also saw that she had zero self esteem/self respect. 

The fact that she was willing to show up at a church service to beg demonstrates to me that she was willing to endure humiliation, judgment and scrutiny as though that was nothing new to her. How would you treat someone in this situation? 
 

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Replies

    • I ask, how a Christian possibility operate without discernment in this world? Yet it seems to be one of the least sough after gifts.  I used to be a part of the team that prayed for people after the Sunday morning service and, "Please pray for me to get the gift of discernment was one of the least asked for gifts.

    • Thanks, Steve. I agree that good discernment is needed. I think of Jesus feeding the multitudes and healing people and believe that He took care of physical needs in order to open doorways to reaching the inner needs of the person. 

  • My bible says to give. It does not say to give only to church members. BTW the food is free, so it doesn't even cost the church anything to give free food. 

    • Thanks Vern. A fellowship dinner was being offered to all in attendance after service, and I invited her to stay for that. I don’t know if she did because I didn’t stay for it. 

  • Amanda, all we really need to do is to read the many verses spoken by Jesus with regard to this situation.

    "But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him?” [1 John 3:17], says John, but hear Jesus' words in Matthew 5:42

    Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.” But the verses I love on this subject is Luke 14:12-14 “He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.

    What fun that could be, Way back, when I was a very young Christian, we wanted to do something for the community, that involved many of the church members as well as the poor and the youth. We pulled a group of people together of all ages across the church and we decided to put on a show. As it was coming up the Christmas, a Christmas Show and we asked the local Social Services Office, they gave us a list of twelve people who were old, in extreme poverty or had a terminal illness. We rehearsed the show for some two months and sold tickets to our church member, then invited the people on the list to come, except for two who were too ill, the people came. On Christmas week we went shopping and put together twelve hampers, they included a whole tinned chicken, Christmas Pudding, chocolate. Biscuits/cookies, tins of potatoes, and other vegetables, a tin of roast beef, and other things. We were met with an outpouring of pure love when the group took those hampers out to those on the list. We made so many friends, we lost two of them during the following year, and we gained six brothers and sisters who made a commitment to Christ.

     

    • Thanks, Dr. Blake. That’s sounds like a wonderful way to minister to the needy. There are many Christian programs offering outreach efforts and the congregation I’ve been attending has several ministries and ways of reaching out. I haven’t seen this type of ‘begging’ though during a church service but have seen it at red lights and intersections. 

      Such people as this woman was in my opinion are in personal crisis of some sort. When people lose self respect, they often develop a sense of fatalism.   

      Many people tend to think of who they are as being found in what they do and what they have, theur job, marriage, family, home, and possessions, etcetera. But the danger in believing that way is that, when loss of any of that occurs, we suffer loss of identity as well—an identity crisis. I’m sure she had no self worth. 

    • Love that Derek

  • I think it would be amazing to take her out for dinner and then grocery shopping. I hope that humiliation doesn't have to  be part of us being generous to the needs of those around us.

    • It’s just that it occurred to me that she didn’t really need ‘food’ but I could be wrong. I’m just going on what transpired in my encounter with her. Everyone needs money, don’t they, lol. I wish that I could’ve just somehow given her some self respect back. That’s what stayed with me about her. I pray for her.

      • Discernment would have given you the information needed.

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