Thursday, July 16, 2009

What would you do?

When we were in Atlanta, my MIL was with
us as usual. She goes on every vacation with
us-partly for her to get to travel, partly for us to
have help! It is really wonderful.
As we finished our lunch at the Turner
Building, we walked out onto the sidewalk
and stopped to discuss where to go next. As
we stood there, a man walked up and asked if
he could help us find anything. We told him no,
we didn't have any particular destination in
mind yet-we were still deciding what to do next.
He said ok, that he just wanted to help. After an
awkward moment, he said he was in a bad spot
and didn't have any money but was hungry,
did we have a few dollars we could spare
so that he could go to the Subway down the
street and get some lunch? I was a little uncomfortable
but immediately reached into my pocket
because I knew I had a few loose ones-and Paul
did the same. Paul gave him a bunch of
change (probably $3-4 worth) and I gave him
the $3 in ones that I had. Not a lot of money,
but it would have bought him a sandwich at
Subway! My MIL was horrified. As soon as the
man walked away, she began lecturing us on
how we 'knew' he didn't want that money for
food, and you don't just hand money out
to just anybody. Paul told her that we did
what we thought was right in the situation, and
what the man did with the money was between
him and God. It was out of our hands at that
point, and we only did what we felt was the right
thing to do. Paul said,"What if that man was Jesus?"
She was not swayed by anything we said, and she
continued to make negative comments about it
for the next several hours-in front of the kids.
I prayed for the man, of course, but I also
prayed that my kids would walk away from that
situation with the lesson God wanted them to see,
and nothing else. I truly think we did the right
thing. We will never know that man's real
situation in life, or what he really did with that
money. And I think all that's beside the point.
I'm not saying we should throw our money away
stupidly, or that we should be able to give to
everyone who sticks their hand out. I realize that
there are many people out there who are very quick to
take advantage. But I think we have to take each
situation individually and give when we feel led
to give. And always do what we feel is right-no
matter what anyone else says. And that's what
I hope my kids saw that day.
To defend my MIL a bit, she is a wonderful
Christian woman. She has been inspirational in
my walk with Christ and I love her dearly.
She was raised in different times with different
perspectives on a lot of things-like not wasting
ANYTHING, and holding tight to money, etc.
We get along fantastically, unlike many MIL/DILs,
I just didn't agree with her in this instance.
So, friends, have you been in that situation?
What did you do? If you haven't, what would you
do? I'd love to hear your thoughts.
And the King shall answer and say unto them,
Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have
done it unto one of the least of these my brethren,
ye have done it unto me.
Matthew 25:40 KJV
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July 17-12:ooAM central time!


{Kimber} said...

I once had a younger girl {20's} at a
gas station ask me for $5 to get gas so she could get home...I gave her the $...she looked so desperate and so I did...that is the only time anyone has ever ASKED me now the people u see standing at lights holding signs I never give to them...maybe I'm wrong but if ur able to stand outside in 90+ degree weather then u can stand washing dishes somewhere??!!
I agree with what ur hubs said though what he DOES with the $ isn't ur concern--that's between him & the big man!!

Btw---you should join me in Thursday thirteen!!! :)

Konnie said...

We have beenin this situation several times and there have been many times that we have given money to someone, but there have also been times that we have not. But I know that we have told you about the homeless man that we meet a few years ago, we see him alot and he has never asked us for help but we have always felt the lord leading us to help him out, we pray for him and when we see him we always give him something to help{a meal or money}. But we have also had the oppurtunity to really talk to him. I think of it like this, You are doing what you feel you are being led to do and you are also being given a chance to plant a seed and tell this person about Jesus.

Kelli @ RTSM said...

I think I can see it from both sides. Even though it is between that person and God if you give them money, you could be supporting a bad habit {drugs or alcohol}! So sometimes I feel like maybe you should give things instead of lunch for them or a loaf of bread maybe! I know sometimes it is just easier to hand over a few dollars, and I don't really think that is wrong...I am just careful because you don't want to hurt more than you help! Does that make sense? I hope so!

christy rose said...

I agree,! I think you have to take each situation individually! Let the Holy Spirit lead us and guide us and speak to us about what to do in each situation. He will tell us if we ask Him. God loves them too! We can show that by whatever means He tells us to. He knows what each of them needs. There is no pat answer. But I think that is the way it is always with every situation in life too. Never a pat answer! That is why we have to depend on God every minute of every day. It is a good thing! :)

Foursons said...

First off, I wouldn't worry about your kids. You and your husband's behavior is going to have much more influence on them then their grandmothers. You are raising them and they live with you full time. So, I think you taught them a very valuable lesson and just maybe their grandma taught them to be discerning.

As far as giving the guy money. Not much to say. You followed your heart and so you have no apologies. Would you do it again if you had a do-over? If the answer is yes, then settle for a difference of opinions between you and your MIL.

Leigh said...

Jenn, my family would have done the same exact thing, except my MIL would have prolly given more than me and my hubby would have. I have given money a few dollars to people that beg for it, and my hubby has walked with them to a fast food to pay for the meal. we were both brought up in christian families, so i think that makes a difference.

momstheword said...

First, I would have asked my husband to speak privately with his mom and ask her never to question our judgement in front of our children again.

My sweet mom did that once too. I don't think they mean to and they don't realize that they are indeed questioning our judgement. Our kids don't need to hear that. If they want to talk to us privately, fine, but not in front of the kids.

Second, I would have done exactly what I felt like I should be doing. You are right, each situation is individual.

We rarely give money to people off the street who ask, but there are those times that we have. It just depends.

I think alot of them are scammers, that's why you rely on however the Lord leads you. And really, your husband is correct.

You give if the Lord tells you to give, and leave what they do with it up to them.

Jennifer said...

You did the right thing. God knows your heart. I think it's a great lesson for your kids maybe even for the MIL. What they do woth it afterwards is between them and God. Good for you!

Foursons said...

And yes, you're right. I said I was throwing my doormat away just recently. This was one of those moments when I was practicing for the "offical" I am no longer a doormat- and I'm never going back. :)

He & Me + 3 said...

I often give, but i am more apt to offer to buy them something. I want to know that they are not using my money to buy drugs or alcohol. But like your hubs is between them and God. I feel it truly depends on the situation. But I have given money to needy people several times. I think it is good for our kids to see us giving as well.

E @ Scottsville said...

I think every person just had to go with however they are 'moved' at that moment. I mean sometimes I don't feel the urge to give to those types and sometimes I do. I think that's the Holy Spirit guiding us. You just have to know that you did what you believed was the RIGHT thing to do. Too bad your MIL couldn't see the good in your hearts and just be proud. =0)