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Care for the poor: But aren't we all beggars? Unfortunately not.

A viewer of this video made this comment:

"A question please.  Overall, I’m largely aligned with this approach and ultimately, do see what many provide as ‘charity’ as the wrong kind of benefit.  However, i get a different mental picture of some types of interactions with those in need versus what I have reading the scriptures about the poor. One such passage is in Mos 4:16-27 where it speaks of beggars and givers, and even tying it to retaining a remission of sins.  I’ve struggled with this balance of giving when I know the person asking knowing put themselves there(but many don’t).  Would it be wrong to state we owe the poor and needy much more than we think? I imagine we give far less than the savior would in our shoes in general. But to your point, you actually do more damage than good in some circumstances.  I’m left with the vague conclusion …it depends:)"

Anytime we are vague about God's will, it's a good time to ask him some questions. He doesn't want us to be confused. You can't have faith if you are confused.

What is a beggar? Is any asker a beggar? How can you differentiate between wants and needs?

Beggars are not choosers. They unconditionally surrender. That's how you can tell. Give a beggar an opportunity, and they will take it. They do not put constraints on the aid they receive, because they really need it. In America, there are few beggars. Instead, there are a lot of demanders. I once gave my lunch to a demander in Baltimore city who had a sign asking for help. He threw it at me, cussed me out, and chased me away. I once opened my home to a recently released convict who had no other place to go, giving him my own bed to sleep in, feeding him, and clothing him. The only condition: apply for a few jobs each day and don't watch porn on my computer. He agreed to the conditions, then broke them both repeatedly.

One reason we are confused about this because we live in affluent countries. Go to Zimbabwe and offer day old bread to anyone. They will gratefully take it. If immigration laws were not so ridiculous, you'd have millions of people gladly coming to America to be indentured servants, gladly working in jobs considering too demeaning for the fake poor that fill our preconceived notions of the condition. 

The question of what makes a beggar  has more implications than the poor. King Benjamin asks, "aren't we all beggars?" Well, no we are not. Most Christians are not beggars, they are demanders. Those who have not ceased sinning are not beggars before God. They throw his gift back at him and crucify him anew, often daily. Anyone who continues to sin has not unconditionally surrendered to God. They still have all kinds of conditions, all kinds of constraints, all sorts of things they love more than God.

And so we take our insufficient repentance before God and use it to muck up our giving to the poor, concluding that we can't possibly obey God in helping the poor because there is not enough money to give everyone all they ask for. True. But there is more than enough money to satisfy all the needs of those who unconditionally surrender to those they ask for it, and our own unconditional surrender to God is what is required to obtain his forgiveness.