I don’t give, because…
Over the years I’ve heard this phrase, well every time the subject of the homeless and helping them comes up. “I don’t give, because they’ll just buy alcohol, or drugs, or… ” you can fill in the blank. It’s usually followed up with… “We need to be good stewards of what God gives us.”
Mostly I think this is just another reason to be cheap. Most often I feel it’s just another reason in my pocket of many reasons why I don’t give to anything.
I don’t always give to every homeless person I come across and some times, a lot of times I just don’t want to. I don’t feel generous and so I don’t give. I pull further forward at the light so I don’t have to look at them… or just enough so that they are in my blind spot. I understand the not giving, the not feeling generous, I just honestly hate the, “They’ll use it for…” statement.
Here’s where I’ve been landing lately with the poor reasoning of that statement. I try to think of this from God’s position (probably not smart thing to do), the position of being a good steward… and I think about the idea of the gift of his Son to the world. When I look at it and lay the reasoning of not giving because “they’ll use it for something not good”, “they will waste it, abuse it”, disregard the value of the gift I’m giving or the sacrifice (cough cough) of a few dollars (cough spare change) (cough not the quarters). When I lay that reasoning over the gift of God’s Son and how the world has (cough I have) abused, wasted, disregarded the value of it, I would have to say that maybe God should not have given the gift?
But thank God, that God doesn’t use the same measure of gift giving nor the excuses for not giving that we (I) use.
YES people will abuse you and your gifts. YES people (I) have abuse, devalued the graces of God given to us. Thank God he didn’t withhold his gift based on my often shallow, selfish, misguided, unappreciative response to it.