hand up or hand out

Recently I was in a group discussion about giving money (or not giving money) to beggars. At the time for what ever reason I sat silent without the need to express my opinion. But I sat and was amazed at the negativity that has infested us as a whole. One opinion was if a man has a sign saying he's a vet and asking for help, she'll not help because he could get government help. Another said they did not want to give a guy a hand out, due to fear of it all being a scam. At first I sat there mad at the thought of not giving money when we can, and how a pastor told me once that give your money to them and do it unto God, then let it go, if you got scammed so what.

But then I began to think about the large group of beggars I pass by every Tuesday. Sometimes I give them money sometimes I do all I can to avoid eye contact. Frankly when I do give them money I don't care what they do with it, if they eat they eat if they use it to get high so be it. Handing then a five dollar bill does not mean I care. I have no desire to go hang with them, no desire to hear their stories or to help them get off the streets. I mean I wish they could get off the streets but I am not going to do anything to make that happen. Time and lots of effort would be what would make a difference in their life, and I just think if we are not going to give them that, we should at least give what we can without our judgement or OUR expectations.

So next time you refuse to give that guy a hand out, ask your self if you are then in fact willing to give him a hand up. Are you ready to get involved and help him make better choices, are you willing to be his support system, are you going to help him get to an AA meeting and help him commit to change. If you are not quite ready for that then at least give the man a five.

11 comments:

Jeanne said...

Huh! That's something to think about. I'm with ya. You know my thoughts about it all so I won't go into big detail on your comments. Thanks for sharing this Lori!

The Cannon Chronicles said...

I would've loved to hear what the others in your discussion were saying. Until we've been there how can we judge? We are all just one step away from begging on the streets without God's love, don't ya think? I feel more sorry for the people who don't realize that!

The Light's, party of 4 said...

Thanks for sharing. Definately an entree to chew on.........

Ang baylis said...

Any time I've given someone money I AM THE ONE WHO IS BLESSED! I'd be lying if I didn't also admit that sometimes I have a tendency to judge how they'd spend it. I thank God that God planted me here for such a time as this... I could be in their shoes, but God blessed me with a pretty good life! Actually, I am MORE than blessed! Thanks for this post! I had a bad attitude at church today as they shared a video AGAIN suggesting we give more. In Detroit people are losing their jobs every day. I needed a new attitude and you just gave it to me. Thanks so much!
Love,
Angie xoxo

Cyndi said...

It is such a blessing to be able to help those in need. We are all God's kids down here trying to make a go of it. If we want to be blessed in our lives, all we need to do is listen. That small voice tells us when to do what and when to share. Afterall, who's five dollars is it?

Nana Net said...

Lori, what a terrific post. Whenever I encounter someone beggin/asking for help/money I almost always give it to them. Usually it is the voice inside of me telling me to or not. I feel that that voice is God's letting me know what to do. That no matter what everyone needs help. And if we help them, then we are the ones recieving the blessing as well as them.
Thank you for posting this! It is something we all can take a lesson from!

Deborah said...

darn...i just left a comment and my internet went wacky! well...i never know what to do in those situations but then again, i never have cash on me and i'm not about to hand over my credit card!!! ;)

ps. try picnik.com for your pictures

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

What a thought and something to think about....You have a great blog...I enjoyed my visit. Stop by and visit me when you have some time and read about our latest Disney adventures....Grandparent trips are the BEST...and every comment enters you for the May giveaway.

Beckypdj said...

Great post!! Thanks for your comment on my blog. I will be back to check out other posts.

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

Thanks for stopping by...I will be back with more Disney posts and pictures next week....

just had to take a break and share about little Maggie..life has changed so drastically for this family in a week. Please pray.

Profbaugh said...

Lori,

Thanks so much for this post. You really challenged me to think about this on a much deeper level. Your post tugged at my heart in a way that I haven't experienced in a while. Thanks for letting God use you to communicate with me. Man, you just gotta love how the Holy Spirit works even here in bloggityville.

Much love,
~Cheryl