“Give to everyone who asks of you.” (Luke 6:30, NASB)
What if we actually obeyed this command from Jesus? What if we obeyed it all the time?
The command is very simple. It’s perfectly straightforward, requiring no level of hermeneutical skill to interpret and understand. Yet among many who claim to follow Christ, this command is almost entirely ignored.
Sure, we may give something to someone every now and then. And besides, we drop ten percent in the plate each week, right?
But what if we actually gave to every single person who ever asked us?
Oh good, I see the excuses are starting to build up. Yes, and the biblical proof texts too. Excellent! Let’s have at it then.
Excuse: He Doesn’t Deserve It
“This guy got himself into the mess he’s in. It’s not my responsibility to bail him out. How will he learn? He’ll just get himself back into trouble again.”
You’re right; he doesn’t deserve it. You don’t deserve it either. What you have is not the result of your own careful planning and managing. Everything you have is a gift of God. And God has just commanded you to pass some of that gift on to another undeserving person.
Excuse: I Can’t Afford It
Yes you can. In fact, you can’t afford not to give. Right after issuing the command to give, Jesus included the following promise:
“Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” (Luke 6:38, ESV)
Remember that everything you have was given to you by God in the first place. And Jesus here said that God gives to us in accordance with how we give to others. This does not mean that we should give selfishly with the idea that we will then become rich. It does mean that we should always give selflessly, knowing that God will provide for us as well. Jesus instructed us to “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33, ESV).
Excuse: He’ll Just Waste It on Drugs, Alcohol, Etc.
Really? How is it that you know this? Are you completely sure? Okay, let’s assume he really will just waste it.
Give anyway. Jesus did not ask us to give to those who really need food. He commanded us to give to everyone who asks. That means everyone who asks.
Am I sounding redundant? Sorry. I just don’t understand why so many Christians don’t obey this simple command. Oh, that’s right. You have Bible verses.
Excuse: “If Any Would Not Work, Neither Should He Eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10)
When Paul wrote this, it was directed to the church of the Thessalonians. The instruction was given in regard to those within the church who were unwilling to work. The church was not to support such people. This has no bearing whatsoever on those outside of the church. Nor does it have any bearing on an individual giving to any individual who asks.
Excuse: “If Any Provide Not for His Own…” (1 Timothy 5:8)
“Okay, that’s great, but I need to feed my own family first. If I don’t have enough for them, then I can’t afford to give to others.”
As always, context is king. Paul chastised those who deliberately neglected caring for their family members by expecting the church to provide instead. It’s absolutely true that we must provide for our families, but giving to others will never hinder that.
If this is your excuse, then you again need to remember the fact that everything we have is provided by God in the first place. If he brings across your path a person in need, then it is your duty to give. Have faith that God will still provide for you and your family. But why should we expect God to provide for our family if we are not willing to help someone else?
Jesus’ instruction, “Give to everyone who asks of you,” is an absolute command with no exceptions made. If anyone at all asks, you are required to give. Next time you see someone begging, remember, it is not a nice suggestion to help them out, it is a mandate.
Choosing not to give to someone who asks is sin.
But this command comes with a promise. When we obey, we have full assurance that God will provide for us as well. Let’s stop making excuses and start trusting God.
Update: I wrote a follow-up to this post to clear up some confusions.
What Do You Think?
Are there any more excuses that should be addressed? Do you have any stories of God’s provision after selfless giving? Have you been the recipient of someone else’s selfless giving?
Share your thoughts in the comments below. And if you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends.