This week’s question: As religious person I want to help my fellow man whenever I can, but I don't know how to react to when panhandlers approach me for money. Some of these people appear to be dangerous and possibly on drugs. What's a Christian to do?
Barbara is Assistant principal of Hurst Middle school in New Sarpy and a bible study teacher at the Bible Center Church in Luling.
It's always difficult to see someone in need and not know how to help.
It's even worse when you find yourself thinking the thoughts of a skeptic, "If I give this person money, will they buy drugs or alcohol?" I have to depend on the Holy Spirit to help me discern whether or not to give. If I can offer them food or gas, I will.
Most of the time, I channel my money through known charities and church.
Cyntrell is Co-Pastor of Changing A Generation Ministries Full Gospel Baptist Church located on 14271 Hwy 90, Boutte.
My initial response to this question would be, "Be led by the spirit of God."
Sometimes I feel led to give to, and other times not. A great portion of Jesus' earthly ministry was spent ministering to the poor. Now some would argue that these people are not poor, but are begging to fulfill a drug or alcohol need. If that is the case, that's when we have to discern.
I know the bible speaks against judging one another, but the bible also says you will know them by their fruit.
Some may even use the scripture which says, "Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares", to say that God will send an angel to test you, to see if you will give. Personally, I think God would dispatch his angles for a greater need than that.
Remember, man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart. If approached, and you don't feel led, just shake your head no and say, "I'm sorry." If you do feel led to give, give, and also give them the Word. You will not lose your reward.