The Gospel Coalition featured an article from Joel Brooks on Helping the Unrightous Poor. It is a thought provoking article and an issue I have to confess I have struggled with at times. Every pastor has to wrestle with how we can do the most good with the limited amount of benevolence resources available. The article is worth reading, and I would love to hear what you think. Here is a portion of the article…
But any person who has actually spent time serving the poor realizes that it is not for the faint of heart. I have seen many passionate, bright-eyed Christians with a “heart for the poor” burn out in a matter of months or even weeks. This happens because the poor they serve often do not respond in the way they expect. As these generous people give of their time and money, they assume that the poor people they help will be appreciative and kind. Perhaps going into this they pictured a homeless man shedding tears of gratitude for the new coat and warm sandwich he received. Instead they receive not so much as a “thank you” or “God bless you.” Maybe they will even be criticized for the color of the coat or the sogginess of the sandwich. They quickly find out that some beggars can be choosers—and mean ones at that!
…Certainly not all of the poor are like this. I have found many to be some of the most humble and gracious people I know, but there is no getting around the fact that some are just plain mean-spirited. Many are homeless and hungry as a consequence of their own evil actions. Often they will squander any aid you do give them. Many will never thank you or will even speak ill of you as you give of your time and money. So does our biblical mandate to help the poor mean that we are we to spend our lives helping out people like this? The answer is YES and without reservation. Jesus Christ calls us to help even the unrighteous poor.
Read the rest here.