It is a challenge. I see the homeless. Do I give them some money? Won’t they just use it to buy drugs or alcohol? Why don’t they have a job, I think. I feel justified in not giving. I don’t feel their pain. It is too easy to just drive away.
Jesus says ‘Yes’, it is your duty to give. It isn’t my job to judge why they are begging. God’s goal for me is to give. That is all I need to know. Jesus clearly says to give to the one who begs from me.
What does Jesus think? This may run afoul of the “official stances” of the homeless social services organizations. They have great reasons for their logic. That is not what Jesus challenges us to do. I am going to follow Jesus.
You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.
Source: Matthew 5:38-42 (ESV)
Of course, Jesus has more to say. This one is a warning. I need to pay attention. I do not want to hear this from Jesus. I want to hear “good and faithful slave”.
Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.
I think Jesus is serious. I think I should give all I can every time I have a chance. Just sayin’.