Unlearning Bad Habits in the Wilderness

Unlearning Bad Habits in the Wilderness
September 29, 2018

I was at the local Walmart earlier this week. While in the parking lot there was a young woman who asked me for a couple of dollars. Without hesitation, I said not right now. In that moment, I felt no sense of compassion or concern. I had not thought much about it either.

Recently, I have been going through the book of Proverbs. I came upon this verse:

9
Generous people will be blessed,
because they share their food with the poor. (Proverbs 22:9)

This is only one place, but there are others where the Bible says generosity brings blessing, it is more blessed to give than to receive. It is a truth we know in our heads, but so many times in a particular moment, it does not transfer into our hearts.

More so now in my life I am made aware that people who ask for money have bad motives such as for drugs. In my college years I was more free to give a couple of dollars to someone on the street who asked, I was not aware then about substance abuse issues then. I have wrestled with this one more so than in that moment in the parking lot at Walmart.

I don’t think Scripture is teaching us to just give people money, but we do need wisdom and discernment. Now looking back, I think I acted far too cold to someone who might have had a real need.

I think I need to check my heart and my attitude every time this situation happens. I still do not have the answer, but I do think many times I should act more in compassion.

My prayer:
Father in Heaven, there are some moments like the one in the parking lot that I look back and think I might have messed up and missed an opportunity. I ask for forgiveness but also wisdom on how to rightly respond in these moments. You say to be generous and to be kind to others, but so we do need wisdom in this area because not all people have good motives when they ask. Please open my eyes to people’s real needs. Help me to respond in kindness. Thank You for showing Your generosity and kindness even when we did not deserve it. Continue to shower Your blessing, that we might be a blessing to others.

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