October 5, 2021
“Thank God I didn’t give her any money.” The words were full of anger as a Christian member of my family recounted the story of encountering a woman panhandler and her children one day outside of a grocery store. The woman had begged for money to buy some groceries, and my family member ignored her and turned away with distaste, certain she was somehow lying, lazy, or both. The next day at the same store, my family member encountered the woman again, this time at the check-out line with a full cart of groceries. “Thank God I didn’t give her any money. She obviously didn’t need it.”
I don’t know the panhandler’s story, but I know God’s story. Jesus doesn’t say, “For I was hungry, and you gave me food once you made me prove I really needed it.” In times of uncertainty in situations of benevolence, I have chosen to listen to God’s story, not the narrative the world tells of those who ask for help.
QUESTIONS FOR THE FIELD
- Re-read Matthew 25:31-46. Write down the stipulations Jesus requires for helping someone in need.
FAMILY FIELD TALK
- Brentwood UMC offers many ways for families to get involved with missions and benevolence ministries. As a family, plan some ways to be involved in fulfilling Christ’s commands in Matthew 25.
God of the hungry, thirsty, stranger, naked, sick, and imprisoned, send us to our brothers and sisters in need of your love. Unite us in your love this year. Let us heed your call for us to help one another all year long. Amen.