We all see the signs and the people behind them. We want to help but there are so many reasons not to. For me my number one reason is not being prepared to be kind. I didn’t budget for charity and all I carry is a debit card like most people in modern day America. The next reason I have for passing by is lack of time. There are only so many hours in the day and a to-do list for today that runs into tomorrow. After years of acting like I could ignore the homeless I began to feel like my heart was getting hard and unconcerned. This article however is not about the problem it is about the solution.
What to do on propose
*budget for charity.
*stock your car with winter clothing gift bags.
*leave the house five minutes early so I always have time to stop.
A little bit at a time
In todays economy it is hard to budget for anything extra. Many of us feel like we are lacking our own resources and for many that is very true. So start small. If you can sacrifice just two bottled soft drinks a month then chances are you can purchase a hat and pair of socks from your local thrift store.
How can you give for FREE. Don’t donate, hand deliver.
This winter when you go through last years wardrobe to take to the thrift store, decide to store it in your trunk. Instead of buying others used cloths use your own. You will save the homeless from having to purchase clothing and potentially a long walk. If they don’t have to spend the change they are gifted on clothing then they have more money for food.
The condition of the heart.
You can do the right thing for the wrong reason and it becomes wrong. Don’t boast about your good works or seek a reward. The name of the game is self satisfaction and of course a moment of gratitude from whoever is receiving your gift. In our home it is a rule we have that we don’t talk about it. When a new item is purchased we let one another know it is in the car so they know what we have in stock to hand out. (The only reason I am even sharing is to encourage others.) It is easy to want the approval of others and to be loved by others but boasting turns your heart prideful. So beware my friends check the condition of your heart.
What else can you give away for free?
Resources your city has available such as; food banks, churches that help the needy, tap it locations for water, and what ever else your area offers along with a map.
The good news of Jesus! If you don’t have time or are not comfortable talking to others about this but have the desire to share the good news I have an answer for you. Type up a universal message you would like to share print it as many times as you wish and store it in your glove box to hand out with your donations. You can also fold up the message in advance and slip it into pieces of clothing. If you are running late and low on time and cannot stop you can pray for the homeless.
Matthew 7:7 “Ask, and it will be given to you seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
Matthew 21:22 And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”
Mark 11:24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
John 14:13-14 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it
THE HARD FACTS
About 700 homeless people die each year due to hypothermia according to the National Coalition for the homeless.
Why don’t the homeless just get a job?
What you need to get a job that the homeless don’t have.
*A contact telephone number
*(most likely) References
*Work appropriate clothing
*The means to maintain hygiene
*An alarm clock
Many but not all business owners see potential homeless employees as high risk. It’s net to impossible to contact them for an interview because they have no phone. There is a low chance they will show up to work on time because they have no alarm clock. There is a low chance they can show up to work with proper hygiene or appropriate clean clothing. Another concern is the question of the fall. Why are they living on the streets? If this is there position was it lack of work ethic or criminal activity? To put it bluntly homeless people are high risk potential employees. In an economy where there are more low risk potential employees then jobs available the homeless just don’t stand a chance.
What does the Bible say about the homeless?
“If your brother becomes poor and cannot maintain himself with you, you shall support him as though he were a stranger and a sojourner, and he shall live with you. Take no interest from him or profit, but fear your God, that your brother may live beside you.
But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”
Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.
Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor will himself call out and not be answered.
Who is watching?
We all know God is watching and really that is all that matters. However if you have children they are watching, trust me! Setting an example through action is the most powerful teaching tool. When lessons become memories the mind doesn’t forget. And to quote Joyce Meyer “Where the mind goes the man follows.” Teaching your children about the condition of the heart is very important.
What did I get at my local thrift store for $11?
*1 winter hat
*1 pair of socks
*1 pair of gloves
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