Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Give What You Have

"He who gives to the poor will not lack, 
but he who hides his eyes 
will have many curses."  
(Proverbs 28:27 NKJV)

I live in one of the biggest cities in the world - New York City.  Millions of people... so busy... rushing to their daily activities, meetings, functions... overwhelmed with the responsibilities of life.

There are so many beggars in New York that one almost must become immune to them to keep their paycheck.  Every time I take a train to the city it's almost a definite that several people would approach me and ask for money.  When I drive our Sidewalk Sunday School truck to one of our sites there's always a lady in a wheel chair asking for money at the red light.  And then there's another lady who lives close to our parking lot.  I see her daily.  She is one of the most beautifully spirited homeless people I've ever met.  It is easy to hide our eyes from these people... because then we're not confronted with their need... and if we're not confronted with their need - we don't have to do anything about it.  Right?

Or how about this one?  They're probably asking money for drugs or alcohol.  I can't support them in their addiction.  This is not good for them.  Right?


God never made a difference in His Word that our giving can depend on the amount of people who ask.  He never gave us a right to judge their motives.  He simply says, "Give to him who asks of you" (Matthew 5:42a).

And for those of you (myself included) who can't afford to give money every time someone asks, I want to share with you what we taught the children a couple of weeks ago in Sunday School.  We taught on the story of Peter and John healing a lame man from Acts 3.  This is what Peter says to the man when he asked him for money, "Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you" (Acts 3:6).  Then Peter proceeded to minister to the man and he got healed.  Last time I was in the city I gave the man my coffee.  And the woman who lives by our parking lot often just wants to talk.  I gave her some cookies when I saw her last and she was happy.

So be encouraged, dear friend.  Give what you have and amazing things will happen.

Another wonderful thing in that passage is that Peter fixed his eyes on the beggar (v.4.).  He did not turn away, or pretend to be busy in the conversation with John - Peter gave the man his attention. May I dare suggest that many of these people just want to be noticed.  They need someone to connect with their pain, to understand that even if their situation is brought about by their own choices - it still is no easier dealing with it.

I want to challenge you today not to hide your eyes from the people in need.


There's still time to give for Blessie's surgery (story here).  We have not been able to raise a full amount needed yet.


Madonna (Lil' Ms.P) said...

I completely agree with you. And what a refreshing reminder that if you can't give money you can pray.

Sarah said...

Thank you. It is so easy to be jaded about the homeless. But God does call us to give to them and take care of them. I needed that reminder.

Deanna said...

Thanks for this wise word. One of the reasons I love you is that you can take thoughts that I think and put them into words. Promise you are going to keep writing while you are away!

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