So I went to El Pollo Loco the other day for lunch. (LOVE their chicken tostada salads!) As I was sitting in my nice air-conditioned car, I was grabbing my purse and on my way getting out of my car when I looked up and saw a woman approaching. She was dressed nicely, had a smile on her face and was looking directly at me and motioning me to her. At first I thought that she must know me from somewhere. And then I recognized her. I actually have been approached by her once before asking me for money. And this time just like last time, she was so darn nice about it! She called me honey and sweetie and wanted to know if I could give her some money so she could get something to eat. Well, here we were standing right in front of the door to El Pollo Loco. So I told her that if she would come inside with me that I would be HAPPY to buy her something to eat. She then politely declined and said that she actually had something to eat just a little while ago, but that she needed cash because she was out of money and her food stamps weren't coming until the end of the week.
Sometimes I have a hard time with this.
Where I work is not the nicest part of town. I get approached for money on a fairly regular basis. So here is where I struggle. Sometimes I get irritated because I feel, especially in this situation, that the person isn't really in need. I mean, she actually kind of lied to me and said she needed money to buy food, but after I offered, she changed her story. And I work hard for my money and sometimes I want to tell them - Go get a job! And I think poorly of them.
I remember the scripture Mosiah 4:17-19 and worry that I fall into this group.
"Perhaps thou shalt say: The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just - But I say unto you, O man, whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he hath done he perisheth forever, and hath no interest in the kingdom of God. For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?"
Here are some of my notes that I have written in my scriptures about this scripture:
"Our attitude and actions towards those whom we are in a position to help will in great measure determine how we are treated on Judgement Day." David Ridges
What are the things that WE beg for?
So I guess mine isn't to be the "judge" of another's need, but to be willing to give when I can. I know that when we give to another, that the Lord blesses us. And whether or not the person is truly in need is for the Lord to decide and that is their part of being held accountable.
But still I struggle.....