A reader is reading Salt and Light

A reader is reading Salt and Light January 8, 2018

…and has a question about the book. Sez he:

Am reading chapter 7 and have a question with regard to subsection entitled “Pride Envy and Deceit”.When supporting the needy  how does one  discern between those who can but don’t and those who can’t because they can’t other than destitute children?

My general counsel is “Don’t worry about it.”  If it’s a charity that seems like a scam (such as a phone call that seems sketchy), you can generally check on line with something like www.CharityNavigator.org to see if they are legit.

If it’s a person, I just give and let God worry about it.  It’s better to be cheated than be stingy.  Dorothy Day said, “The gospel takes away forever the right to distinguish between the deserving and undeserving poor.”

Paul’s advice to the Thessalonians about how, “If a man will not work, he shall not eat” is counsel given *within* the household of faith.  He’s telling *Christians* to get off their duffs and not wait around for the Second Coming.

But Jesus’ counsel regarding giving to those outside the household of faith is radical: “Give to every one who begs from you; and of him who takes away your goods do not ask them again. (Lk 6:30).

He puts no conditions at all on our giving.  Give to him who asks. Period. What if you are cheated?  You’ll live.  It’s more important to be generous.

Obviously that doesn’t mean we should be fools.  So if its obviously a scam, point that out to the thief–for his soul’s sake that he might repent.  But don’t sweat about being cheated.  Don’t live in fear.  Don’t let it control you.

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