March 24, 2014

What Jesus taught me through a homeless man...

Yesterday a homeless man came up to me and asked for money for his lunch.

This time (as there has been many times I've given the homeless money) I actually looked at him, gave him some money, asked him his name then gave him a hug. I don't know if he was telling the truth or lying but for the first time in my life something was different.

I felt the power of God's unconditional love for someone else and I was able to give without expecting anything back in return.

We live in a culture that always wants something back.

And I'm beginning to realize this way of thinking has creep into our Christian culture as well. We don't want to give money to anyone who asks unless we think we may get something back. We tell ourselves it's because we want them to do something good with what we give them. We worked hard for that money, why give it to someone who may misuse it?

This way of thinking is idolatry and money is the idol.

This is not what Jesus taught.

Jesus taught us to give without ever wanting anything in return...anything.

He is teaching us to love others this way...

Because He loves us all this way. This is freedom.

We don't have to pay Jesus back, He gave His life for free.

I pray you open up your heart to the words of Jesus. Some may think they are crazy words, but they are actually words of Life.

Jesus said:

"Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.

Do to others as you would have them do to you.

If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them.

And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that.

And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full.

But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.

Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful."

                                                                      Luke 6:30-36


  1. I try to give when I can, I think it's important too. Thanks for such a thoughtful post.

  2. Hi Cathy, My story about homelessness may interest you and your readers. Briefly, I befriended a drunk, homeless woman in my NYC neighborhood for two years. I never gave her money but I did offer her unconditional hope, always talking about dignity in life. Eventually, I took her home to her family in Italy. Somehow, I felt "chosen" for the deed since I have no social work training. I wrote our story, entitled The Street or Me: A New York Story. If you'd like to consider it for your blog, I'd be happy to send you a copy. You can contact me through You have a wonderful blog. Best wishes, Judith Glynn

  3. I wonder how long it's been since that man received a hug. So glad you were obedient -- in both the hug and the money.

  4. This is powerful -- to feel the Holy Spirit move in that moment -- to allow Him to give you what you need and not demand it from another human being. Such a beautiful story. So glad you shared at SDG.

  5. Yes Cathy you did right, we have our responsibility to our Saviour and His Word to us and the homeless man has the responsibility to make good use of what you give Him. God can speak in more ways than we know.

  6. It is so easy to just live our lives...........for ourselves.....instead of reaching out to others and there are people all around us who need help and encouragement. Thank you for sharing this post.

  7. Hi Cathy
    Your story is very inspirational in so many ways. I wonder how many people each day who walks past that person who asks for money because they don't feel he will actually buy food with the money. It doesn't matter what that person does with they money you give them, like you said, it's that you give it without expectations and that you do it because God puts it in your heart to do it and you obey without the normal human hesitation. You never know who that homeless man really is. Thank you for sharing your beautiful encounter with us at Wake Up Wednesday Linky Party.

  8. This was such a good post, Cathy! So thankful you stopped by my blog, and I was able to meet you today! My heart goes out to the homeless and those who are less fortunate. You are so right, Jesus told us not to give or do for others hoping for something in return, but to do for those we know will never be able to give back. Isn't that what He did for us? We will never be able to repay Him for all He has done. Such an edifying, inspiring thankful you shared. Love, Cheryl

  9. Something powerful to muse on here this morning, Cathy ... thank you for sharing Jesus with him, with us ...

  10. Thank you for sharing your experience. It got me to thinking about all the times I have given to those less fortunate than myself. I'm sitting here wondering how many times I did expect something in return. I expected them to go on their way and not interrupt my lunch time after I gave to them when maybe I should had been more open to a conversation instead being disattached to their presence. You gave me something to think about.

  11. Hi Cathy, Great article. Thank you for sharing everyone something to ponder about our own reactions to situations. I am stopping by from FFF. Blessings to you. Stop by for some encouragement.

  12. Great reminder today! I admit that I am not always freely giving but my motive isn't necessarily because I am looking for something in return. I am cautious-making sure that I am making a good choice. Visiting you from The Weekend Brew.

  13. I know of churches that offer meals to homeless and needy people. A very important outreach. I would paid for the food but it is important to do what you know God is directing you to do. Thanks for sharing your experience. Most people don't have the opportunity to reach out to the homeless or help children in need.

  14. I dont like giving money but I always try to help and volunteer.


Feel free to leave your own thoughts in the comments. I try to respond to all of them by the end of the week. : )

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