|Posted by Joseph Green on February 22, 2020 at 11:35 PM|
A couple of weeks ago I went to McDonalds with some friends after church. After we ate we stood in the parking lot next to our vehicles talking when a guy in a black car pulled up beside us. He began to ask us how to find a certain place and we all did our best to accommodate him but the place he was looking for no longer existed. Just as he began to drive off he stopped and told us he was going to humble himself and ask us to help him. He explained that his son had been severely injured in a 4 wheeler crash and had been life flighted to Huntington, WV. He then said that he was from North Carolina and he was on his way to be with his injured son. He told us he was an Army veteran, had been on the road for a while and now needed gas to complete his journey. All he had with him of value other than his i-phone 11 was a $40 McDonald’s gift card that was given to him by a church so that he would have food on his trip and he would gladly sell it for $20 so that he would have gas money.
Now I like to help people. I don’t typically give money to people for the simple fact that it usually ends up in going to purposes other than intended and not really to help the individual. If someone tells me they are hungry I get them food. If someone tells me they are thirsty I give them something to drink. However, this man sounded sincere. I couldn’t imagine someone making up a story like that and after all he was offering a return on the money. What would be wrong with helping a soul in need right? That was my thought anyway. I went to my car, grabbed my wallet and pulled out a $20 dollar bill and handed it to him. He began to hand me the gift card, which was still in an unopened package. I told him to keep it, he would need food. The money is not mine, it’s Gods! I am only a steward of anything I possess. Without God nothing is possible. So off he went with the $20 dollar bill. I haven’t seen him since but a friend showed me an article that read this man has been all around the area telling the same story and selling “stolen” gift cards.
Now I’m no different than most people. I don’t like being taken advantage of. No one does. Most people will help someone in need. Everyone works hard for their money and don’t like to see it go to waste or for unintended purposes. I’m no different. I receive a disability check each month so money for me is hard to come by. I’m not able to work and increase my income. So basically I handed off $20 dollars that I could have used. I fell for a con man's play on my sense of goodness. Does it upset me… well it did at first. I’ll admit when I found out I had been conned I was angry. My first thought was how could I have fallen for this?! Why does it always seem like I’m being taken advantage of?!
Now pay close attention to what I’m about to say next. Some people I’m sure are going to disagree with what I’m about to say but I’m going to say it anyway. I believe God wanted me to give that con man $20. I know, I know, many of you are asking why God would want to bless that man. Let me explain. First of all, the money was never mine. Did I possess it? Yes, but I am only a steward of it. Nothing really truly belongs to us. God gives us possession of many things but we will never be able to take money or personal possessions to heaven. It all stays here on this planet and when we are finished with it someone else will receive it and become a steward. So God lets us decide how our money benefits the kingdom. If a person comes to us and asks for money and we decide to give it to them out of the kindness of our heart and for the intention of blessing someone then we no longer are stewards of it. That person will now have to make the decision on what to do with it next. He will have to stand before God one day and explain himself.
The true fact of the matter is the con man did not steal my money. He stole what actually belongs to God. I gave out of the goodness of my heart. Not to help myself. Not to make myself look better. Not to make myself feel good. I gave it to help a person I believed was in dire need to visit his injured son in an ICU at the hospital in Huntington. So the question remains, why do we fall prey to the cunning of these types of people? Well, I believe from time to time it becomes a test of our true intentions. Are we truly giving out of the goodness of our heart without reservations? Are we giving without respect of persons. If we are giving with the intentions that God wants us to give then it matters not who receives it. Those who plot to bear false witness to us in the pretence of benefiting their own lustful and greedy desires will answer to God one day. We still receive our blessings. We gain our rewards in heaven regardless of who receives the gift that God intended us to give. It seems like these kinds of things should never happen, but they do. It seems like we shouldn’t give because we can’t always trust the recipient but God wants us to give. We should, in fact, be somewhat mindful of what we give and to who. But sometimes God is going to allow us to be tested. We shouldn’t be afraid to give to people if our intent is pure. There is no need to become upset when we find out the gift we gave did not serve its intended purpose. Believe me, I understand that we could use those things we give to sustain ourselves. But we serve a gracious God. He will provide. I can live without that $20. I could have used it but I believe God will bless me with more than I gave. It may not be money, but I’m sure whatever I could have used that money for, God will provide for me and provide for me more than I could ever imagine. I’m not worthy to receive what God has in store for me but He gave a gift to all of us. A gift of love so valuable that we could never repay Him and the gift is available to all including the con man. Remember the thief on the cross? Yeah I thought you would.
John 3:16 KJV_For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
2 Corinthians 9:7 KJV_Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
Acts 20:35 KJV_I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
Luke 6:38 KJV_Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
Matthew 6:1-4 KJV_Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.
1 Timothy 6:17-19 KJV_Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.
Luke 12:33-34 KJV_Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Luke 6:30 KJV_Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.
Proverbs 28:27 KJV_He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack: but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse.