You stop at the traffic light. There stands the poor bedraggled fellow again, grimy feet sticking out below a dusty, torn pair of pants. His hair is dishevelled and a sad smile is framed by a crispy face.
Your fingers scurry around the centre console for a coin or two. Over Christmas time it might even be a note.
You find something and in passing him slow down, open your window and hand the poor, poor fellow what you think is probably the only money he’ll have for food for a long time.
You tell yourself you’ve done a magnanimous deed of self-sacrificial love.
But the truth is: you’ve probably been had.
And not only that…
You’re making life for those of us who want to make things better in Jeffreys Bay, much harder.
That person you’re handing money to at the traffic light, or most other places, for that matter, has probably already started the day with a better meal than many hardworking Jeffreys Bay citizens.
By “helping” that individual, you’ve aided him in sustaining a lifestyle of wicked laziness.
Do not be fooled; many of these beggars are professional manipulators. And this might surprise you, but many of them have a HUGE chip on the shoulder. They truly believe that society owes them because they’ve been done in by others, while all they’ve been trying to do all their lives is help others.
If you don’t believe me, start helping out at one of the NPOs in town. You’re in for a few surprising lessons.
if you’re a Christian, you know the commands of our Lord Jesus to look out for the poor. It’s not even debatable.
The issue is not whether you should be a generous giver—you must, if you’re a Christian—the issue is who you should be generous to. You do NOT want to aid a sluggard.
Am I saying that all beggars are lazy and useless? No. There are genuine cases of sorrow, but 2020 has put many of us in the same boat. Some are just not rowing and never had any intention to.
So what should you do when you see (what looks like) a down-and-out beggar or urchin?
Send them to an NPO where they have to work or pay for their food and where they can hear the gospel of Jesus Christ and his salvation. (One Village comes to mind.)
May you have a blessed Christmas and may 2021 bring the wisdom and common sense we had a huge shortage of in 2020.