GOD HELPS THOSE WHO HELP THEMSELVES

It’s not in the Bible, but of course it should have been.  It’s not what the Good Lord said, but it’s what he meant.  Anyone who really knows God knows this.

Am I right?

Or am I right???

Right!

So, I propose a new kind of care package for the homeless.  Go to the Dollar Store get Ziploc sandwich bags (pint size), put in a pair of sox, a toothbrush, and a Sharpie marker with a small bit of cardboard.  This way your beggar is EMPOWERED to beg more effectively from a street corner rather than ever having to bother you again.

(Oh… and skip the toothbrush part.)

Let’s call it EFFECTIVE CHARITY.

Just imagine how many people you can empower with a fifty-dollar investment.  A whole army of beggars empowered like this could feed themselves practically forever.*  (Who needs to teach a man to fish?  Setting bums up with tackle boxes would run you into the hundreds of dollars.  That’s not a godly ROI.  And even then, what if the fish aren’t biting?)

We’re talking about EMPOWERMENT rather than “enabling.”  With dry feet and a Sharpie, this beggar is now empowered to rake in almost $400 a day – TAX FREE!!!!

You go, Man!  Run… like a young boy in a field!!!  As a Republican, I am jealous!

That’s how God helps those who help themselves.

*Do the math: If you empowered 20 beggars with your $50 investment to rake in (on the outside) $400/day, that’s like an $8000 ROI EVERY DAY!

(Move over Wall Street!  Shut your mouth, Dave Ramsey!!  When Helping Helps, Corbett and Fikkert!!!  Might outa quit your job and go into begging!  There’s some real action is.)

2 comments

  1. phroneticchristian · 21 Days Ago

    This is a dilemma – what to do when you see someone on the street corner with a “help” sign. I know the dangers of enabling in giving money to strangers who look down on their luck. (I’m in a more predictable homeless ministry as well). I don’t carry a gimmie bag of useful stuff in my car; maybe I should. Or a McDonald’s gift card. No tracts, ever. Since it’s a brief random encounter while waiting for a light change, spontaneous giving is the best I can usually manage. So I have a $5 bill in the glove box, reserved for families obviously in need on the corner. I figure, God knows if they’re sincere or not.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Agent X · 20 Days Ago

      Wow! I am just glad to have a visitor at all! Thanx for playing…

      I grew up facing such dilemmas too. I recall way before books were written my grandparents would say, “Don’t feed that stray cat. You’ll never be rid of it.” Once in while they would make pretty much the same application to beggars.

      Funny thing: as a kid. My siblings and I WANTED that cat to stay! I don’t know if my grandparents ever knew that, and if they did, I don’t think they appreciated it.

      I recall my dad and I encountering beggars on streets in California on a couple different occasions when I was young (a teen once, a young adult later), and we had our little unprepared interactions which gave rise to much talk and analysis afterward. It was my dad who introduced me to the idea of carrying a sandwich in my car or bag to give to a beggar when the encounters presented.

      Two things about that: 1) We lived in rural areas of the American west where beggars on streets were not common. So, as a young person listening to my dad consider such thoughts, I was stretching just to imagine how many sandwiches would rot in my car before they were given away. I didn’t object with that thought, but his analysis went through such contortions in my mind. Nevertheless, they laid a groundwork for me to think from as I grew up.

      and 2) In those days, there were no blogs, websites, and precious little if any books, seminars and the like. There were shelters and soup kitchens in big cities which were always perpetually in a galaxy far, far away. But our church didn’t have a ministry for this, and no books or seminars to teach us.

      So…

      The whole When Helping Hurts philosophy with it’s fancy book cover and accompanying seminars, websites, best seller status and following is not really anything new except the hype. My grandma with an eighth grade education distilled about 7/8ths of the new conventional wisdom in a comment on stray cats 50 years ago.

      The thing that kicks me in the jimmy though is how none of this “wisdom” is found on Jesus’s lips.

      My faith heritage (not exactly evangelical, but a close kissing cousin to it) was far more staunch about speaking where the Bible speaks and being silent where the Bible is silent than Baptists! (Btw, that very notion, though a pretty good rule of thumb, is not found in the Bible either. So, we were already speaking where the Bible does not speak when we said that!) But I digress.

      Point being: I do, nonetheless, want to deal with the poor and with beggars the way Jesus does and/or the way outlined in the Bible. That, it seems to me, has more value than ignoring such things.

      I see nothing wrong with giving a bum a few dollars. In Luke 6:30, Jesus says Give to all who ask.

      We can split hairs on it. He didn’t specify to give money, but giving alms all through the Bible typically involved giving money, and so at least if he meant to prohibit that, as my Sunday School Teacher leading us in a When Helping Hurts seminar does, he woulda, coulda, shoulda said so. But he didn’t. In fact in Matthew 10:8, he says Freely GIVE. In Mark 10, he tells at least one rich man to sell all he owns and give it to the poor (if you are SELLING it first, that sounds like converting it to money before giving it to me).

      Since our fear here (at least the PRESENTING fear) is that the money will be wasted on booze/drugs, the passage from Proverbs 31 where we are told to give wine and strong drink to the dying to numb their pain surely seems to pull the rug from under that fear.

      I have not, in this offering, covered every aspect of biblical giving, of course. St. Paul tells the Thessalonians that if a man will not work, neither will he get to eat. He also insists that the widows of the church be registered so that they are not “enabled” to become busybodies. And so we must come to some consensus with CONTEXT, and of course, that will always be arguable.

      However, unless we are willing to jump off the Bible Fallibility Cliff and say these passages contradict each other, we must not allow St. Paul’s remarks to cancel out the others. There must be a context in which they all make sense. But selling all you own, giving it to the poor, is a HUGE thing, and just because one rich man didn’t do it, the church in Jerusalem did. The early Christians (outside the Bible now, but within the traditions shortly following it) also believed that withholding your alms was the same as stealing from God! Paul’s context surely is the more narrow context, I would argue, and I would say more but this is enough for now. I need to stop before this comment becomes a book.

      Biblical wisdom is older than Grandma’s. It’s more biblical too. There is room for debate here, I think, but let’s go to the Bible and work with it THERE. Corbett, Fikkert, Lupton (and others) aren’t really going there. Peppering your book with a few verses lifted out of context (and placed mostly in chapters not advancing your thesis too, btw), or ignoring the Bible, and then going to “practitioners in the field” or “economic development” and “business principles” to fill in the gaps does not get you any closer to Jesus. But the end of their book, they have you charging interest (low interest of course) on loans to widows with orphans and employing someone other than pastors to enforce loan repayment since pastors don’t have the stomach for such loan repayment muscle (mafia, anyone???) to ensure every penny is repaid so that poor people can learn the value of a dollar.

      I kid you not! That is the SH*T Christian best sellers are shoving down the throat of the church today! It violates the Bible’s instruction on charging interest, on Jubilee, on forgiving debt, AND teaches the value of a dollar rather than the value of God’s LOVE.

      Here at Fat Beggars School of Prophets, we challenge that.

      Like

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