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“When you give to the poor, it is like lending to the Lord, and the Lord will pay you back.” Proverbs 19:17 (GNB)
This scripture became so real to me a few months ago. So I was downtown after seeing a friend of mine’s comedy show. And it seems like every time there are ‘poor’ people around, they come out looking for me, like they think they KNOW I’ve got money. I’m walking to my car and this man approaches me and tells me some sob story and his family is stranded somewhere and he just needs a ride to so-and-so and some food and a little money.
Now understand, if you tell me something, I’m pretty much going to believe you. I have no reason not to, and I try to give people the benefit of the doubt; so call me a little gullible? So I give him a ride where he needs to go and we swing by Checkers and got the man some food. I drop him off and gave him some money. Now, I should NOT have given this man this much money. I’m not going to tell you how much it was, but trust me when I tell you, it was TOO MUCH for me to be giving him. I could’ve ate a FEW good meals with that money. But it just was not a smart move on my part, because not only did I not really have the money to give him, I just didn’t really use all of my discernment on this one.
So I’m driving home (And I live almost in Woodstock, so from downtown, I’ve got a good 45 minute drive to think) and I’m really thinking, “Stuart, that was really dumb. You should not have given that man, that much money. What were you thinking?” So I get home and I’m trying to fall asleep, but I keep thinking about that bad decision I made. I finally get to sleep, wake up the next morning, thinking the same thing about how stupid that choice was. But I thought, “You know, it is what it is. What’s done is done and I’ll never be able to get that money back. Oh well, right?”
And of course this whole time the Lord has been whispering in my ear, “Hey Stuart, remember that scripture you teach in Church on Purpose about giving to the poor is like lending to me and I’ll pay you back?” I’m thinking, “Yeah I know Jesus… I know what Your Word says but… I don’t know…”
So a few days go by and I’m at church on Wednesday for Midweek service. A gentleman who I had done some work for walks up to me and hands me a check. I thought nothing of it at first, but then I looked at the check. It was made out for 25% more than the exact amount I had given the man, not 3 days earlier. Now mind you, I didn’t give the man the money knowing that I’d be getting this check 3 days later. You know that scripture came back to my mind! I just had to look up at God and say, “Ok, God… I got you. You did what you said you would… I got you…”
I’ll also say, that it’s not a good idea to give money to every person who asks. You’ll go broke trying to do so, but if you use your discernment and really feel like God wants you to bless a particular individual, know that that is ok, and the money is a good investment because it’s a Kingdom investment.
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