Give generously to the poor, not grudgingly, for the LORD your God will bless you in everything you do. -Deuteronomy 15:10 (NLT)
He who oppresses the poor reproaches his Maker, But he who honors Him has mercy on the needy. -Proverbs 14:31 (NKJV)
And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ -Matthew 25:40 (ESV)
Here in the United States, the gap between the homeless and everyone else is stark. And no matter who are, you can be an active servant of Christ in helping someone.
You don’t have to have a lot to give
Remember the widow who gave two mites in her offering to the temple? Jesus noted to His disciples that she gave far more than the wealthier attendees. Likewise, when we help others, what we do for the least is what we do for Christ.
Some really, really easy ways to give
- Buy one get one free coupons for restaurants and grocery stores mean that you could get double the food for the price you were going to pay anyway. You can buy yourself lunch, then give the other one to a person in need.
- Give what food and/or money you have on you.
- Buy an extra meal en route to work or home and give it to someone.
- See the same person at a corner where you drive/walk/commute? If you think you might have clothing that could fit them, bring it along next time.
- Pre-pack a large plastic zipper bag with clean socks, toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, travel mouthwash, wet wipes, and some protein bars. These very basic necessities aren’t readily available to the needy.
- Hand out clean water. Clean water is unbelievably hard to come by when you live on the streets.
Ways not to give
- Don’t give away spoiled food to pantries or shelters…or anyone!
- Don’t give a needy person canned food unless you’re also giving them a can opener, or unless that can already has a lid that opens without the need of implements.
- Don’t tell the recipient what they should or shouldn’t do with the money you give them. They will ultimately do what they choose with the gift God has used you to give them. It’s out of your hands.
Let them know God loves them
God works through people. Believers are His hands and feet. Be sure to let them know that whatever you’re giving them is from God, and to His glory and credit. We are merely very blessed servants of Christ, who are called to share our blessings and help others. Just watch, fellow agents, how God blesses you when you allow yourself to be His conduit for blessing others!