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Question about giving to the poor.

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Posted (edited)

I know that we are supposed to give to the poor. I don't doubt that at all. But what if someone only pretends to be poor just to get money or other things, and you know it without a doubt? Are we still supposed to give to those people, or are we supposed to confront them and tell them we know they're lying, or both? I know that whatever we do, we're to do it in love. 

EDIT: For example, I know this is an extreme case and likely not to happen, but what if you see a person exit from a mansion wearing very fine clothing and looking well-kept, and then you witness them tearing up their clothes and making themselves look poor, then going up to people and begging them for money or clothing?

Edited by Brittany

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We do not always know what motivates a person to do what they are doing.

For someone to be begging or looking in the dumpster for foods, even though we think they have enough money, can be presumptuous, judgemental thinking on our part without fully knowing all the circumstances regarding that persons life.

Listening to your gut instinct before giving especially money is a wise thing to do, however when it comes to other things like food or clothes... if you can, give to them if you have anything to give .

For sure, psychological problems, like depression low self esteem,low self worth can have a lot to do as to why someone is begging or looking into dumpsters for food or asking say for example, a fruit store is they can have the fruits and vegetables that are going into the trash can anyway or looking for clothes or other. 

when a person has been emotional/psychologically shattered, many times they no longer believe in themselves , they believe more the lie that they are worthless, and rejected by society, and live with that cloud. Many such cases, for the rest of their lives many times they go to their graves like this.

Definitely taking the time to try and have a conversation with the person, and if possible direct them to resources that could better help them. And when it comes to people begging for food or looking into dumpsters for food.  Many times a deeper reasoning than just trying to get things for free without having to pay it is underlining their feeling and their state of being in being poor. If a person THINKS they are poor, they are poor indeed.

 

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Posted (edited)
On 1/1/2017 at 6:46 PM, Brittany said:

I know that we are supposed to give to the poor. I don't doubt that at all. But what if someone only pretends to be poor just to get money or other things, and you know it without a doubt? Are we still supposed to give to those people, or are we supposed to confront them and tell them we know they're lying, or both? I know that whatever we do, we're to do it in love. 

EDIT: For example, I know this is an extreme case and likely not to happen, but what if you see a person exit from a mansion wearing very fine clothing and looking well-kept, and then you witness them tearing up their clothes and making themselves look poor, then going up to people and begging them for money or clothing?

 Let each give as they are led to do.

Do not labor long if at all over the merit of the recipient of your kindness.  Let our Lord deal as he sees fit over  those that deceive. Share as the Lord through the Holy Spirit leads, and  do not let the left hand know what the right is doing, Give as led, and let it go from mind as well as from purse,  wallet, or possession. If not led give no thought further to it either.

“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you

Edited by Neighbor

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5 minutes ago, Brittany said:

I know that we are supposed to give to the poor. I don't doubt that at all. But what if someone only pretends to be poor just to get money or other things, and you know it without a doubt? Are we still supposed to give to those people, or are we supposed to confront them and tell them we know they're lying, or both? I know that whatever we do, we're to do it in love. 

Why should we confront them? If applicable I would report them, if they were fraudulently benefiting by that which is meant t help the poor, but what would you use to gauge these peoples as being fraudulent?

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It is written, "Give to him that ask of you, and from him that would borrow of you , do not turn away."

Now let me add this, "fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me."

We at all times should represent our Father in Heaven, sometimes when someone asks, you can give monetarily AND then also give wisdom through a parable, which lets them know their deceit is known, by God and by yourself.

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Once in a while our local news had done exposes on professional beggars in our area.  Many of them make a very good living at the expense of others.  If you can remember the address from which the person emerged, you might ask a news reporter if they would investigate your suspicions.  Tell them there may be a legitimate reason for what you saw and if there is you would like to know.  But an investigation of all beggars in the area would be of benefit to the public if any are fraudulent.  

But if you find people eating from dumpsters, you might offer them a hot cup of coffee and a big mac.  Never give them money, but do bring them food,  If the person seems lucid, a blanket and good shoes, socks and a jacket if it is cold at night, which can be obtained used from Salvation Army or St. Vincent dePaul stores. An old sleeping bag might also help.  Be sure to let them know that you are doing it because Jesus loves them.   I know people who have been there.  One had been a Christian youth pastor and one became a Christian and served here on Worthy's staff.  "If you have done it to the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto Me".  

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I second what willa said.  Dont give them money.  You might just be supporting someones bad and super addictive habits that God is  dealing with them on.  They may not have the capability to get food with that money due to addiction. 

I was homeless for six years and i was never begging so those guys with the signs always make me raise a brow.

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the poor you will always have with you---- cant help them all-- don't even try-- but when a real chance comes to help some one do it with all your might--- and pray about it if you have doubts-- the Lord will give you a spirit of discernment to know who is really poor-- and who is trying to  make you poor~~~~~

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On 1/1/2017 at 4:46 PM, Brittany said:

But what if someone only pretends to be poor just to get money or other things, and you know it without a doubt? 

If you know this for a fact, then a good heart-to-heart chat would definitely help.  You could ask this person why holding down a job has no appeal, and why pretending to be down and out has more appeal.  You could even make suggestions as to how this person should get on with his life. It does not help anyone if they are allowed to continue a non-productive life.

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I have had that happen, someone I donated to on the street turned out to be well off (they owned their own home etc., after a inheritance).

That were not intentionally deceiving people, more like unwilling to give up their begging (which was a form of intimacy for them).

You can only begin them on the path to honesty by letting other's know, not to donate to them because they were not in need, but just lonely and found a way to get attention.

It worked well and did not lead to any confrontation.

It was more a psychological issue rather than an intent to mislead.

A very real issue with street beggars (mental issues or societal ones).

Prayer of course for those issues, would be the answer.

 

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The Union gospel mission in St Paul MN had coupons on their website. I print out 5-6 and keep them in my car to hand out. It gives the person a free bus ride to the mission and a free dinner. I've also bought food like a McDonald's meal, and handed to the beggar. I won't give money but I will give a tract and if safe and possible , i ask them if they want to pray.

Someone prayed for me, donated baby clothes when I need baby clothes, it's the least I can do for anyone.

 

Edited by BacKaran

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