Q: People always ask me for money and I give to everyone. It affects my own income, what should I do?
A: You are obviously a very generous person with a big heart. I think its right to take care of others when God directed but not to the detriment of oneself. Each scenario needs to be prayed about for the right solution. Sometimes giving money is the answer. I support a variety of causes and receive requests from myriad organizations to help them too. Also, people on the street might ask or simply look like they need food and shelter. One year my daughter and I purchased food, water, hats, scarves, gloves and other items and put them in bags. We included a religious article about Home and everyone’s God given right to have a good place to live. It spoke about how to pray effectively and where to go for spiritual support. We handed them out in the streets of NYC. In addition, I might purchase food for someone rather than hand them money.
This story from Acts 3 addresses your question. “Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts.
When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.
Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. (NIV)
Isn’t this the real need for everyone. Its to know that God gives us what will truly bless us. Giving that lame man money would only benefit him temporarily but giving him the ability to walk and care for himself had long lasting value. We too can listen to God’s answer to what would best help each individual. God is the source of all good and when we direct each person to learning about God and His infinite ways to take care of all our needs, we will give that person the best gift in the world.