OUCH! “Give to those who ask, and don’t turn away from those who want to borrow.” Matt 5:42, the words of Jesus.
Convicting words for me, although we are consciously trying to be generous and give out of the resources the Lord has entrusted to us. But I’ve got a selfish side as well which continually needs challenging. Yet the issues of . . .
- the poor,
- systems of wealth that seem to cut out the poor,
- inequity of resources,
- a greedy, violent and broken world . . .
are all staring us in the face and challenging us to do something. What to do with all of this — how to live in this world with these realities — is my personal challenge and with a lot of us, it informs our politics as well.
And, for me, Jesus command here creates more questions than simple answers . . . or does it? Should I simply obey this and forget about my questions? How do you think about this?
Here are a few of my questions:
- What about the guy on the corner, probably a Vietnam vet with his sign asking for money? “Give to those who ask?” Some of these guys have a better income than I do because they make $50 an hour with 50 people giving them $1.00 each as they stop at the corner.
- What about the scammers who figure out how to touch your heartstrings for their greedy benefit?
- How much protection do we need to do for ourselves on this?
- If I loan out money, should I consider I’ll get it back? If not, then does that inform something about my “loaning” as Jesus asks me to do?
- What if I’m tight on money and someone asks me for some?
- What questions does this raise in your mind?
Some of you are living in cultures where you go outside and a line of beggars is standing there with their cup or hand out. Or you come out of a church service and the widows are lined up asking for money. Or you have your home invaded and goods taken by thieves or drug addicts.
How do you process Jesus command for yourself in your situation?