Each of us should feel a desire to help others who are in need. We were created with this sensitivity for others who are less fortunate. However, a quick handout is at best cheap love.
A small, quick handout lets us off the hook from a more thoughtful response to the person’s need. The need of those who are begging, regardless of their condition (laziness, addiction, or physical disability), is not money, but community. Human beings were created to belong to a community; sitting and begging causes no one to fulfill that human need. But the fact that we keep giving them money causes them to continue begging.
We should give in ways that truly liberate, empower, and transform. A quick handout simply lets us off the hook from a more thoughtful response to the person’s need.
So rather than handing money, offer to buy the person a meal or groceries; sit down with them, listen to their stories and offer them something that is greater than money: LOVE.
Only then, street people will finally see that society will show they care not by giving them a donation, but by caring, loving, and offering them fulfillment that money will never satisfy.
If you can’t find yourself offering love and care to beggars, don’t massage your guilt by giving them money. Give to organizations in your community who are investing in removing people from the streets into the workforce. That’s the best help you could give them. That is TRANSFORMATIONAL!
For the Christians: Quit fooling yourselves in thinking that the best you can do as God’s ambassador is to give a handout to the poor people on the streets. Instead, wrap your arms around the hurting and allow God, through you, to transform their lives.
Money will ease the pain. Christ will heal it!
The story below is a perfect example that need of beggars is not financial. Read, and be transformed.
1 One day Peter and John went to the Temple at three o’clock, the time set each day for the afternoon prayer service.
2There, at the Temple gate called Beautiful Gate, was a man who had been crippled all his life. Every day he was carried to this gate to beg for money from the people going into the Temple.
3 The man saw Peter and John going into the Temple and asked them for money.
4 Peter and John looked straight at him and said, “Look at us!”
5 The man looked at them, thinking they were going to give him some money.
6 But Peter said, “I don’t have any silver or gold, but I do have something else I can give you. By the power of Jesus Christ from Nazareth, stand up and walk!”
7 Then Peter took the man’s right hand and lifted him up. Immediately the man’s feet and ankles became strong.
8 He jumped up, stood on his feet, and began to walk. He went into the Temple with them, walking and jumping and praising God.
9-10 All the people recognized him as the crippled man who always sat by the Beautiful Gate begging for money. Now they saw this same man walking and praising God, and they were amazed. They wondered how this could happen.
The power of money is merely earthly and temporal. The power of Christ is LIMITLESS and ETERNAL.