What shall I do? I expect to pass through this world but once. Therefore any good work, kindness, or service I can render to any person or animal, let me do it now. Let me not neglect or delay to do it, for I will not pass this way again.~ an old Quaker saying
We met in church.
Her clothes were dirty and hair a mess, and it was difficult to understand her when she spoke. My heart went out to her. Yet I admit I was a little wary. I have felt taken advantaged of before.
Despite my fears I began greeting her every Sunday, and I gave her a birthday present once. Maybe that’s what started the phone calls. I don’t remember how I got involved. But every month she calls asking me to buy her specific food items. They aren’t always necessities nor cheap, but I usually oblige when I can. Yet I confess I don’t always do so with tons of grace because I wonder…am I being conned?
This happened the other day. Rather than asking me to take her to the store, she just asked (in a slightly demanding way) for me to get the food which I knew meant she wanted me to pay for it too. I had some extra cash and some peace to help though a nagging tiny voice questioned in my head…am I being conned? Despite the negative thoughts I went to the store with her list.
Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely O Lord….(Psalm 139:4)
I hadn’t voiced my concern to anyone, even to God, but He knew.
know He knew because on the drive home a man giving a short devotion on the radio said, “It is better to give and be conned than not to give and worry about being conned!” I think he was quoting someone, but I don’t know who, and it doesn’t matter because at that moment God spoke audibly through a voice on the radio!
Confirmation. I love when He does that.
God wants us to give. The decision of whether or not to give is not mine to make. I am called to give what I can. The integrity of the one asking for help is not mine to ask.
We are called to give.
The truth is: I have never felt bad about helping someone, but I have grieved the opportunities I’ve passed by someone in need.
Next time she calls, I will not question my decision. I have been freed to give. I hope you have been too.
Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality (Romans 12:13).