Why I’ve Stopped Giving Handouts by Britt Treece

TB&TC Begger Badger

TB&TC Begger Badger (Photo credit: dj badly)

A Street Minister Rethinks Giving Money for Nothing

Do you ever struggle with your conscience when it comes to those who approach you with, “can you help me out with a couple of dollars man?” It seems they hover around every minute market and fast food restaurant in our city. Each of them has good reasons for their need of your money. “I ran out of gas” “My car broke down and we have to get to ______.” Of course, as soon as you part with those couple of dollars, the needy recipient heads straight to the beer cooler. How do we retain a charitable heart while being good stewards of what God gives us?

Having landed on Britt Treece’s “Why I’ve Stopped Giving Handouts, I’ve concluded that this may be one of the most meaningful, practical, and Christ-honoring articles on this topic that I’ve ever read. This minister and author gives us an appropriate survey of the whole ‘handout’ ordeal sweeping the streets of our nation. The problem, at least in our area of the world, is that a large majority of these pleaders are just as capable of earning a day’s wages as those of us who punch the clock every day of our lives. They choose not to. Why? I’ll let the author of the post share that. You know, I can’t help but wonder though, “What if our government applied these biblical principles provided by B Treece?” Oh yeah, what am I thinking, no one wants a suggestion from Christians… we’re just a bunch of  ‘Bible-thumpers‘ these days with no compelling arguments. Sorry Mr. O’Reilly, was that cynical?

I digress. Warren Britt Treece is the author at the site, “Your Cross on My Back,” and you can find the article here. As stated, it is well worth taking a couple of minutes to gather the wisdom found in its words.

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About mtsweat

Seeking the rest that is only promised and found in Christ Jesus, along with my treasured wife of more than twenty-five years, we seek to grow in our relationship with our Heavenly Father, walk with the Holy Spirit as He moves our hearts, loving others always as Jesus loves us, and carry the news of His glory, the wonderful gospel, that gives light and life where there once was only darkness.
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7 Responses to Why I’ve Stopped Giving Handouts by Britt Treece

  1. Pingback: Why Handouts Aren’t Working | Carrie Welborn

  2. He makes some good points.
    We have long made a point of not just giving money. We will buy a meal for the hungry or goods for the needy, or we’ll “employ”someone to pull out weeds or mow the lawn or wash the car or such.

  3. robind333 says:

    I understand your feeling toward these people but I’m reminded of what Jesus says…if someone ask, give it to them. Just my thoughts….great post and many, many blessings to you…Robin

    • mtsweat says:

      You are very right of course in that Jesus said for us to give when asked. The author whose post I’m advertising here though makes a very compelling argument (take that Bill O’Reilly) that we can bring much more harm to those who are just lazy, not willing to work, by force-feeding them handouts. He shares,

      1.At the deepest level of need, poor people, like all people, have broken relationships (with God, others, creation, and self).
      2.Though we may try to help the poor, “good intentions aren’t enough.”
      3.Poor people (like all people) need Jesus Christ and His local church to heal broken relationships at the root of poverty.
      4.The image of God in all people means that each of us has dignity, worth, and ability to work hard. “The ultimate solution to poverty comes not from the outside in, but from the inside out.
      5.Practically, we should only help the poor in ways that they cannot help themselves (i.e., pay for work, not for nothing).

      Then he shares, “Giving handouts to those who can and should work instead tells them that it’s okay to beg, steal, lie, and cheat to get their cash. Instead, we ought to be pointing them to the Christ who is able to help us each fulfill our callings wherever we need to serve, work, and love.”

      There’s much more and I highly recommend all to read his work. Thanks you very much good friend, and many blessings to you!

      • robind333 says:

        No doubt he is definitely working for Christ but I think I’ll go back and re-read this section for my own peace of mind…Thanks for sharing your post and many, many blessings to you…Robin

        • mtsweat says:

          This is an area I struggle greatly with. My wife gets on to me because I’m readily willing to pull out the old wallet with every whim of request from these people. Each time I do though, I get a feeling that I’m giving to a bad cause (you can almost always watch them take the money and run straight for the alcohol stand). This is money that could be being used for greater pruposes I think. Treece’s piece makes a lot of sense. We could also acknowledge that from the same Bible that tells us to give freely to those who ask, we are told, “If a man will not work, neither shall he eat.” I guess a lot of wisdom needs put to use as my friend from All Along the Watchtower would say. Many, many, many blessings to you. 🙂

          • robind333 says:

            I agree. Maybe this is where we must learn to use the gift of discernment. I know it’s something I’m also struggling with….Thanks for sharing a great post and many, many blessings to you….Robin

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