Whose money is it anyway?

I like to give when asked, and encourage others to do the same, because I have experienced the true joy that comes with giving. In most needy circumstances, I have a tender heart and give when asked, even if it is only a small amount that I can give.

I do it with a cheerful heart, most of the time, but there are times that I have caught myself being reluctant to give. These are times where the person asking for money is standing at an intersection or in the grocery store parking lot with a sign stating that they are homeless. In those circumstances, I have a voice in my heart that says, “It’s a scam, don’t give them anything.” Up until recently, I have listened to that voice and rarely given to that cause.

The other day I was having a discussion with someone about giving cheerfully, regardless of the cause. I felt the Holy Spirit gave me a “parable” to explain things to this person, in the best light. I’ll share it with you now.

Imagine you are walking down the road, shoulder to shoulder with Father God. To make it clear, Father God has a body just like you…arms, legs, head, feet, etc. The only difference is that Father God just doesn’t have any hands at the ends of his arms. You two are walking along the sidewalk, talking, laughing, and simply doing life together. It is a great friendship you have, and you are enjoying his presence immensely.

As you turn a corner you come upon a person begging for money. You notice them, but say nothing. Then Father God looks over at you and asks, “Would you do me a favor and reach into my jeans pocket and get a $100 dollar bill out and hand it to this person? I would do it, but as you can see, I don’t have any hands.” “Of course”, you respond, as you reach into his pocket and hand the bill to the person asking for help.

Most people would respond the same way, regardless if it were Father God or just a friend with no hands. It’s their choice, it’s their money, and you want to oblige by assisting due to your friends disability. It’s no skin off your back, right?

I believe that story came to me, through the Holy Spirit, for edification purposes in my conversation about giving, with that friend. I also believe God used that parable to enlighten and convict me about my reluctance to give in some circumstances due to it “being a scam”.

Now, as I imagine that exact circumstance again, only this time while driving my car, with Father God in the passenger seat. When I come upon a person at an intersection holding up a sign. I hear, “Hey Dave, would you please reach into my pocket and give this person a $20 bill? I would do it myself, but as you can see, I have no hands to do it myself.”

Am I going to say “NO, it’s a scam” this time? Of course not. You see, whatever money I have IS God’s money. It’s all His, every single penny. I am simply a steward of His money. I am His hands in those circumstances. If He wants to give the person money, and he is asking me to do the giving, how can I possibly say No? The reason why he wants to give isn’t important. He wants to give, and whose money is it anyway?

I’ve had a change of heart about intersections and parking lot encounters. Yesterday, I withdrew cash from my bank account in $10’s and $20’s, placed it in an envelope, and dropped it in my car door side pocket. Now I am prepared to act when I hear His familiar small voice…”Hey Dave, would you reach into my pocket…” Yes Lord, willingly and cheerfully!

In Luke chapter 10, verse 30-37, Jesus tells the parable of the Good Samaritan. He does this in answer to a question asked him by “an expert in religious law”. That expert asked, “And, who is my neighbor?” At the end of the parable, Jesus asked the same question of the expert, “Which one of these three people (in my parable) would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” The expert answered, “The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus’ response was simply, “Yes. Go and do the same.”

I am hoping that we are all able to understand that showing mercy to those less fortunate is loving our neighbor…regardless if it’s a scam or not. With love and kindness, I continue in my walk with Father God…fighting for the hearts of others.

Sarah Peterson