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Should we give handouts to the homeless?


In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers and sisters, to keep away from every believer who is idle and disruptive and does not live according to the teaching you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you. We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you to imitate. For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.” 2 Thessalonians 3:6-10
            It’s up to the discretion of the individual to decide whether to help someone in need on the side of the road.  Some homeless are sick and their minds are lost.  Some are victims of circumstance that they could not overcome.  Many homeless live off the generosity of others without ever trying to get their own job.  They miss out on the feelings of satisfaction and fulfillment that comes with a job well done.
            Jesus healed the hurting and down-and-out so they could experience a better life.  He never handed out money to the homeless (because he himself was homeless and not rich). 
            Paul’s words to the church of Thessalonica talk more about the believer who does nothing and expects people to help him.  He tells the congregation to not provide for that kind of person.  This seems brutal, but it’s more like tough love, designed to shame the person into productivity.
            A believer would model his life after Jesus, who worked tirelessly during his ministry, helping others and finding support along the way.  People wanted to give him food, shelter and finances because he did so much for them.
            If your heart is pure and the donation to a homeless person is given out of sincerity, God will be pleased.  If the homeless uses the money for ungodly purposes, you won’t be judged.