Talking or walking?

I did a post a while back about homeless people. I’ve been thinking about them a lot lately and how Christians interact with them. You walk up to a homeless person to share the gospel, and more likely than not, they’ll say they know who He is and that they believe just to get the food or money you’re offering them. Can’t say I blame them. If I heard the message as much as they do, I’d probably respond the same way.

This is a problem though. Lots of Christians can talk the talk. They can preach it until they’re blue in the face. But can they walk the walk? It makes me incredibly sad to see what sort of reputation Christianity gets. Most outsiders looking in see hypocrites. They see people who know all the answers (or pretend to) and who freely judge and criticize others who aren’t like them, but when push comes to shove, those same Christians aren’t truly living the life Christ has for us. They aren’t pouring out His love. Just talking about it.

Many people I’ve talked to believe that you should never give a homeless person money in case they use it for drugs or alcohol. So instead, they give them food. They have good intentions, but the root isn’t quite so innocent. The bottom line is, it’s a form of control. What that person does with the money you give them is their decision. All we can do is obey when the Lord calls us to do something. If a person uses that money for what most would consider wasteful, that’s their choice.

Our goal should not be to control the life of another. Our goal should be to share the love of Christ to any and all who come our way. Be that giving them food, money, or even just simply caring enough to talk and listen to their life.

Don’t get me wrong. There is a time for preaching and talking. But, sometimes sharing His love doesn’t involve us talking or preaching. Just listening. And giving. Sometimes, that can speak so much louder than any words we could ever use.


One thought on “Talking or walking?

  1. I’m not sure I can ever remember a time I had a conversation with someone by just handing them money. Buying something for them is a form of control, but given many of their circumstances, just giving money can be a type of hedonistic giving or passive contempt. I’d much rather prove that I mean no condescension, myself being a broken person, through conversation than through contempt. How many who ask for money would also ask for a good meal and conversation if they thought they would illicit any positive responses?

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