Home > Ramblings > What to do about those who beg

What to do about those who beg

November 3, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

old woman begginkids sleeping on cardboardPeople are in need all around us. This is an issue for all of us, not just those of us who live in Asia.  I can still see the homeless people living under the bridges in Houston.  If I am honest, I sometimes avoid those places in which I may encounter those most in need, encounter those begging.  My lack of compassion is troubling.  Two very challenging posts from John Piper on “Giving to the one who begs from you,” out of Matthew 5:42 do not make me feel any better.

cup of coins and handPiper discusses reasons why we would not want to give to beggars: maybe they are being dishonest, use drugs or involved in other sinful behavior; we may not be sure if there is a real need; will we create dependency?

He tests my heart with such radical love. And in my heart I see my selfish, unloving impulses that do not want to part with my money, possessions, time, or convenience for needy or evil people.

Piper points out that He asks us to do this not because of what good may happen in the lives of the people we help but simply because we are sons of our Father in heaven (Mtt 5:45). As Piper says, we show that we are God’s children by “the stunning—some would call foolish—way we show generous kindness toward undeserving evil people—the very kindness we’ve received.”

I am afraid that I too often fail miserably in this call to “radical, gospel generosity.”  Pray for me that I might give freely just as I have freely received. Picture below is from buhaypinoykids begging

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