|Matthew 5:38-42 |
38 You have heard that it has been said, 'An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.'
39 But I say to you, do not resist evil; but whoever strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other cheek to him also.
40 And if any man sues you at the law, and takes away your shirt, let him have your coat also.
41 And whoever asks you to go one mile, go with him two miles. [go the extra mile].
42 Give to him who asks you,7 and do not turn away from him who would borrow from you.
7 Give to him who asks of you. This command applies to individuals asking for help for themselves or their family. While giving to charities that help the poor is looked on with favor by the Lord, this command doesn't apply to solicitations by organizations. For individuals the only exception is when you know the person who asks of you is pretending they have needs. For example, in my home town there is free medical care, free sleeping rooms, free storage lockers, free cell phones, and 3-5 free meals served every day; so if their sign says they are hungry or need money for food, I know they are not sincere. Many homeless advocates tell us not to give money to the normal homeless beggar on the street, rather to offer them a meal or to contribute to the homeless charity in your area; and they even tell us that giving money to such people harms them, (and harms the poor people with genuine needs too). If a panhandler is aggressive; or if you see the same person begging for weeks, months, or years; or if you see them passed out on the side of the street; or if you see them partying; or if you see a group of people taking turns begging with a sign; or if they smell of alcohol; all those show the scam of their pretended need. However, if you are in doubt or uncomfortable in declining, then give; and if you feel someone has a sincere need, then give liberally and with the joy of helping someone that really needs help.
If you know from experience that someone has scammed you, there is nothing wrong with refusing their future attempts to scam you.
If someone has borrowed money from you with the promise to pay it back, then failing to pay it back, there is nothing wrong with refusing their additional attempts.
If someone explains why they want money, (either borrowed or your gift of kindness), and their explanation doesn't make sense, or it is not for a purpose you would consider moral or necessary, you can use your good judgment on whether to comply or not.
In a poor country that has few jobs available, it is possible for beggars who continue to beg to be in real need; that is for you to decide. If they are begging, with "Help Wanted" signs in store windows, unless they are disabled, (which some are), then they are probably scammers. To keep beggars from using your money for alcohol or drugs, you could just buy them a meal or some food from a kiosk or store; or you could contribute to some charity that works with street people. The charity that works with street people has seen all the scams and is more likely to not be fooled.
In a country that has no welfare assistance for the blind, then by all means, contribute to their needs whenever possible; George Fox wrote that giving to the blind should be our highest priority.