If honest, I have to admit that I do not really like beggars. I do not care much for being approached by a man whose stench assaults my nostrils with a mixture of body odor and alcohol. Most of all, I abhor having them grasp my arm and ask for money—my money. Why should I give him my hard-earned money? I’ve worked hard for everything I have. I certainly do not have money to be throwing around. He’ll probably just spend it on more booze.
In short-order, the judge and jury of my mind have quickly delineated and the ruling is final: this man has no claim to anything of mine! What’s more, even if I gave out of my generosity, would he not squander it on more… vileness?
Before you judge me, have you not thought the same? Or am I alone in this thinking? Judging by the number of rag-clothed beggars on the streets I think that I am not alone in condemning their condition. The irony is this: when I look at the Scriptures, this is not the description of some stranger. This is how God describes you and me.
Salvation: The Ultimate Rags to Riches
Without Christ, we are blind, foolish, wretched, poor, miserable, and naked (2 Cor 4:4, Rev 3:17-20). We are like helpless beggars. But God beheld our miserable state and he poured out His love on us. Christ, who is rich, became poor for my sake, that I might be rich through Him (2 Corinthians 8:7-9). Paul wrote that we have forgiveness of sins through Christ’s blood, according to the riches of His grace (Ephesians 1:7-8).
Each time I see a street beggar I’m reminded of my condition, and what Christ did for me. Also, I am reminded that His love made a difference. Perhaps, an example that I need to follow the next time I am approached.
“Lord, help me to remember that you stooped down to lift me up out of my despair. Help me to always be grateful for your sacrifice, and to model that love for others.”