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Beggars Ask For Money

Where I live, it is illegal for beggars to ask for money. A police officer once caught me giving money to a beggar. I was lucky that I wasn't arrested and sent to jail.
Should I give give money to people who ask for help? Matthew 5:42

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 ---sag on 4/3/08
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No, absolutely not. Most beggars that beg for themselves are feeding addictions. Organised beggars raise money for criminal gangs linked to trafficking, prostitution & drug-dealing. Either way you're encouraging a trend that destroys lives, despite good intentions. If you want to help people, get involved with a homeless shelter, or other charitable project. At the very least, give them food, hot beverages or clothes, ANYTHING but money. Go out with open eyes and serve God. Giving's not just about money, giving your time, a warm smile, helping someone across the road, and how you lead your life and conduct yourself determine what you give to the world.
---Oliver on 10/19/11

I would continue to give but do not let the officer see you. God knows and will reward you for what you do. Giving to persons in need is a very loving and godly thing to do.I would be careful with the cash.Unless I knew for sure it would be going for the right thing. I concentrate on giving food,clothing,the gospel and time to those in need.
---Robyn on 5/28/08

YES!!!! I am called foolish, a soft touch, and just outright bleeding heart. And these things I'm called by my wife!!! I have been called crazy to my face, For giving people money. I have never been poor, and I can easily afford to give away what little I do."Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away" even I'm smart enough to understand this scripture.
---Mima on 5/27/08

God bless you Ladies!
---Duane_Dudley_Martin on 4/20/08

Yes you can give money to people who need help, but sometime not everyone need help for a reason.
---Keisha on 4/16/08

Hi Susie, happy for you dear. :) And your husband indeed sounds awesome--I like the fact that he won't pick up hitchhikers if you are in the car--smart man and godly too! :) May God bless you both very much :)
---Mary on 4/7/08

Mary...Actually, I am very happily married for nine years now. My husband and I are active in the jail/homeless ministry. We believe in giving when the need arises. My husband is one of those men who still gives rides to hitchhikers (when I am not in the vehicle) and led one to the Lord last Friday.
---Susie on 4/7/08

I learned many things while an employee of the Salvation Army. One is that there are many (mostly men) who are homeless by choice. There are thousands of men who are on the streets to avoid paying child support. Thousands are there because of drugs and alcohol. The opportunity for rehab is available AT NO CHARGE, but they resist because they do not want to change. They want to stay in their life with no responsibilities.
---Susie on 4/7/08

People don't go out there looking for Poverty it's just a fact of life for some, Jesus told us to feed the needy, and if a dime comes out of your palm to feed such a one, you know that treasure you sowed will be stored in heaven, for you come the end of time. Refuse such a one and the consequences are there for you too. It's about giving not counting!
---Carla5754 on 4/7/08

Hi Susie, no, I thank God I'm no longer in that family--hallelujah! :) Actually the ex's name was Bill--but your "Bob" sounds like he was just as bad, isn't the single life great?! :) I'm sooo happy single :)
---Mary on 4/6/08

Cliff, in my city adults cannot get welfare anymore, unless they have minor children to support.
---sue on 4/6/08

Bless you Rita, I forgot to mention, though, that I'm no longer married to that man, and his daughters have no part in my life either. I'm happy now though, single and on disability, just trying to avoid the occasional panic attacks and such.
---Mary on 4/6/08

Just a note: a person with an addiction can suffer more from the lack of whatever than from the lack of food. Even caffeine withdrawal can cause migraines, and it's legal. Other addictions have far worse withdrawals, sometimes even fatal.

And begging for money is MUCH better than committing crimes to get it.

Besides, a beggar might need the money for another legitimate, but embarrassing, need, and not want to explain what it is.

It may be more compassionate to actually give cash.
---Nancy on 4/6/08

There is nothing wrong in asking a person to help you in a time of need. If it hadn't been for my In-laws, my husband and I would have lost our home/land. It was really tough on us there for a while, with me having 9 surgeries in a little over a year. We couldn't rob Peter to pay Paul, cause Peter was broke. We're slowly getting out of the finance boat. We're doing better than we was. Thank God.
---Rebecca_D on 4/5/08

No, Rita, I have not had the courage. But a friend I was with in a group, invited a homeless young man that she knew (and we bumped into on the street) she knew him through the church, to eat with us in a restaurant, so in a group it was not obvious. He was overwhelmed. I learnt a lot from that friend. She was a marvellous Catholic woman. I lost touch with her.
---frances008 on 4/5/08

In this case our friend was not smelly.

I admire those who will do anything rather than beg. But in some cases the people have mental problems. I recall that they did away with mental institutions emptying many on to the streets of London, when I was there. It is cruel, in my opinion.
---frances008 on 4/5/08

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With the welfare system today no one needs beg for food. The reason they beg is they spend the rent money on booze and drugs. We have a "food bank" in our city where people can get food for free . People line up ,and in the line they're smoking.Seems they can afford cigarettes (they are about $8.00 a pack) but not food. Go figure!
---1st_cliff on 4/5/08

Mary...Hopefully, you are not married to that ungrateful bunch now. Was his name Bob by chance? Your description sounded like an old boyfriend of mine who used his three little girls to get stuff instead of working.
---Susie on 4/5/08

Giving is a wonderful opportunity to witness. There was a woman with cancer and radiation sickness who begged outside our local grocery store and she started coming to our church and is no longer on the streets
---Christina on 4/5/08

The economic crisis is going to change attitudes about financial charity/giving. The first responsibility is going to have to be to family and loved ones. Employment will be limited. Churches/ministries will become more aggressive in their plea for money, sermons/teaching will become more multicultural and politically correct to increase membership.

The requirement is to "Be wise as serpents...". Giving when you cannot afford it or unwise isn't a requirement for walking with The Lord.
---greg on 4/5/08

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Mary, it is so sad that your family did not appreciate your efforts but you were very brave to do all that for them. One day I hope they will realise how much you must have loved them to do that. Frances, have you ever taken a beggar to a fast-food restaurant? It is something that I have often wished to do but backed out of because I thought they might throw us out, because of the person's appearance and smell.
---RitaH on 4/5/08

"There, but by the grace of God, go I. What the person does with the money is not our business. We should do what God says and let Him judge, not us." My sentiments exactly. Amen. It is easy to rationalize disobedience to a very clear admonishment "Give to him that ask of you, and from him that would borrow from you, turn not away." Love [even] your enemies, do good to them, lend to them without expecting anything in return. How much more so to those who are of the household of faith.
---josef on 4/5/08

Hi y'all, it's not that I don't understand what it feels like to be poor but when I was, I sold what I could sell--at least it wasn't begging. At my worst point, I had to collect cans for cash, I would hide in shame when anyone saw me, and I did it so my stepdaughters would have milk--even though they were not grateful, nor was my husband. That hurt. I think it was one of the absolute most humiliating experiences of my entire life, so I just can't understand beggars.
---Mary on 4/4/08

Not all officers would know the reason for this law. But it would be worth asking what is wrong. Perhaps they do not want to encourage alcoholics etc. You can get around this by either presenting the beggar with a sandwich you buy, it would not be too difficult. Or if you have time, take them into a fast food restaurant for a cup of coffee and a hamburger.
---frances008 on 4/4/08

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"There, but by the grace of God, go I".

Isn't there something in our Bible that says the 'begger' you are helping may very well be Jesus?

I agree with Rebecca. What the person does with the money is not our business. We should do what God says and let Him judge, not us.
---sue on 4/4/08

Jesus told us to feed the hungry.
---alan_of_UK on 4/4/08

We NEVER give cash to anyone who is asking for food. We feed them. That is what Jesus said to do. FEED THEM!!!!! If they refuse the food, then they didn't want the money for food. We had one man in Vegas ask us for food as we filled up our car with gas. When my husband said we would take him to the Taco Bell on the corner to eat, he literally ran across the street to wait for us. A few have refused and walk away. Most accept the offer of food.
---Susie on 4/4/08

How sad that giving to the poor should be was the heart of Jesus....
---Pastor_Fred_Barton on 4/4/08

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Hi notlaw, I agree with you--giving to beggars, in my opinion, is reinforcing bad behavior. I'm probably gonna get bashed for this royally, but standing on the street begging strangers for money shows complete and total lack of self-respect and dignity! I once saw my neighbor doing that and offered him some breakfast but he said he'd rather hold a sign up begging for money!
---Mary on 4/4/08

One time I was leaving the grocery store and seen this homeless man close to a sidewalk with a sign, In need of money,food,drink. The Lord laid it on my heart to give him my tithe money. At first I thought, what if he uses that tithe money for booze or drugs? So I left turned around and gave the money to him as I passed. When I looked into his eyes, I knew I did the right thing. I seen him last week with a family while working. If you feel led to, then do it you'll reap the reward from God.
---Rebecca_D on 4/4/08

When the money leaves your hands and into theirs, what they do with it would not be your fault unless you know what their doing with it. One night at church, a man came in and asked the Pastor if the church could give him money for gas cause his car ran out. He told him to wait outside. The church talked about it and we gave him some money. We prayed after he left that if he lied to us, then let the Holy Ghost go after him. A week later, the man confessed and apologized for what he'd done.
---Rebecca_D on 4/4/08

In the 21st Century giving money to panhandlers is reinforcing poor conduct.

And it can be potentially dangerous for all parties.

The best was is to work through formal institutional systems where there is a high degree of control and physical security present. Meaning food kitchens, homeless shelters, half way houses and food pantries. Do formal background check, know who you are dealing with and provide law enforcement information on all individuals using your services.
---notlaw99 on 4/4/08

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Should one answer - a simple "yes" or "no" - be expected to really answer this question? Shall the fear of what "might be done" over shadow compassion? I will say that there have been times when I declined to give anything, times when I have insisted they join me for dinner, and times when I have given money. (continued next post)
---Joe on 4/4/08

How do I discern when to do what? Call it what you will ... reading the moment, listening to the Holy Spirit, or just following my mood ... but I try to make an evaluation of what is appropriate at the time as well as what my motives might be for NOT GIVING. If my motives are selfish (ex: to keep my money), then I will always give ... not because their situation warrants but because my situation (attitude) needs adjustment.
---Joe on 4/4/08

You answered your own question with the verse you gave. According to your statement "Where I live, it is illegal for beggars to ask for money" the law applies to the beggar not the giver. I say give to the need you recognize without having to be asked. Do so without "letting your left hand know what your right hand is doing." That your giving may be done in secret. No man can dictate your giving, a law against giving would be improbable if not impossible to enforce in good conscience.
---josef on 4/4/08

There are other ways to give to others in need. If it's illegal for you to give someone money, buy them dinner. Offer them a job if you have a business. Can you protest/petition a change in the law? Every little bit helps.
Doesn't feel like a loss when you give does it?
---Nicola on 4/4/08

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A friend of mine (who is a pastor) never gives money to beggars. If they say they are hungry, he gives them something to eat, or takes them to a McDonald's and buys them something.

In this way, he can honor the requests they make (for food), but does not enable their vices (if they lie about food, just to get money to buy booze or drugs).
---StrongAxe on 4/4/08

We are told to obey the law of our land unless, in doing so, we break God's laws. God tells us to feed the hungry etc. but this can be done in a far better way than giving them actual cash. I would much rather give a packet of sandwiches and a drink than money which could be spent on absolutely anything but food. Not every 'beggar' is penniless and hungry. We have to be very wise in how and where we hand out our hard-earned cash.
---RitaH on 4/4/08

Most people that give money to people have good intentions and want to help (some people give only because they need to redeem their ego), but they don't realize that they often enable the beggar to have a loose lifestyle (bad habits, dependency, drugs/alcohol, etc.). If there is a food line or shelter where you live, it would be better to donate to that, but human nature is that you will teach the person to be dependent if you always give them money.
---greg on 4/3/08

Acts 5:29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.

We have the command to be perfect in the context of love toward others in (Matt 5:48)

Where do you live by the way? I want to come and get jailed for Christ.
---pharisee on 4/3/08

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Last week at a gas station a man asked me
to buy him a sandwich. I told him I would
buy him one and a drink too. But he wanted
the money. He finally confessed he wanted
beer money. Hand out Hardees gift certificates instead.
---michael on 4/3/08

Yes. These are one of the laws that Christians are bound and bind to break. Not only that, but this is a clear case of man excercising rule over other humans. We must stand up, and not only Christians, but every human being, against tyranny and injustice. Not only for ourselves but for other people. Keep doing good.
---catherine on 4/3/08

No, not really! Since you don't know what that money will be use for, it's best to do some other form of servive. (They may use that money to but dope, or something not really essential.) Instead, buy them some food, or take them out to eat, or buy medicine or help in a feasiable way to help the person in need. But, you may be giving money to a person NOT in need. You avoid giving money that's not needed by doing something for them rather than giving money.
---WIVV on 4/3/08

sag, it is great that you want to follow Gods word. Maybe you could ask the person who is doing the begging and ask them if they are hungry, and if they say they are then buy them food. That shouldn't be against the law. Where do you live that it is illegal? I would rather give food then money, because money can be spent on drugs.
---pgfdottie on 4/3/08

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