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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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      • Amanda, you know, one thing you can depend on is that, if God wants you the take on a ministry, He will not take "No" for an answer and short of renouncing Him, you will do as your God demands.  Something like this happened to me, I said"No," but it resulted in not only taking on the ministry, but it totally changed my whole life. What God wants, God gets!

        • Dr. Blake, I agree regarding receiving a calling from God to minister. I’m not being called by God to do what Steve has suggested. God has called me to do something different which I am doing. However, this is a great discussion. I’m learning from it and appreciate all the input. I want to be prepared for this type of situation when it happens again that someone shows up begging on a street corner, at a worship service or in front of a store, etc... You guys on this forum are blessings to me! 

          • you brought up a great point and i think you should start a new conversation about how can we be prepared on the spot to help those in need.

            • Annette, It seems it’s been addressed already. First, pray more for discernment. Second, pray for immediate guidance in the immediate situation. Don’t give cash. Give food or other needed items. Show friendliness and warmth. Pray for a door to open giving opportunity to share the message of faith with the individual. Once, when I was young and in college, I saw someone at an intersection holding a sign that said will work for food. I rolled down my car window and gave the person the meal I had just bought at a fast food drive thru. More recently, I’ve given money to people begging at intersections. But I’ve never before encountered someone begging at a church service. 

              • Those are great! Have you ever seen a bag some folks put together to hand out. They keep them in their car to always be ready. I forget everything that's in them but i know it included things like a five dollar bill, granola bar, gospel tract or new testament, a comb, etc. I think things like keeping a case of water bottles to give out is a good idea too. 

                • Annette, it’s a great idea! I’m not familiar with everything that’s put into the bag, either. 

                • That's wonderful Annette, maybe we could get a small bag list together that we could hang here for everyone's use and to kept in our cars.  Can some one start a list please?  Remember about Best-Before dates though, if we get canned food, maybe a small safety opener (although pull-openers, seem to to be more popular now).

              • These are good principles to abide by when we reach out in situationns such as these or when people approach us begging.  A very fruitful didcussion.

    • Great response!

  • Psalm 1 King James Version (KJV)

    Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

    But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

    And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

    The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.

    Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

    For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.


    "Like a tree", get it? A tree does not ask you to qualify to pick its fruit. It just grows more. 

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