Five dollars for gas?

I once went to Walmart to get a belt, and when I went to pay for it, the price was $5 less than the sticker price. On my way out to my car, my excitement about my savings, (because it doesn’t take much to excite me), was interrupted by a young man who asked if I had $5 for gas. “Well, as a matter of fact I do,” I replied. And so I gave him my belt savings and was pleased as punch at the rapid fire way God put me in a position to immediately use the five dollars.

I realize in hindsight that the five dollars was probably for drugs, because I’ve been asked by people for that exact amount several times now, and it’s always “for gas.” As I think about my responsibility in giving, though, I can’t figure out how I’m supposed to look at it. I get it intellectually. I shouldn’t aid in someone’s drug habit by giving them cash. But as a Christian, the Bible says that I’m not supposed to judge and there are lots of verses about giving. Matthew 5:42 just straight up says “Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you.”

It’s a confusing position. I’ve heard a preacher, from the pulpit, tell the congregation not to give money to the poor around the church because they might start congregating outside after the services. That was probably the right thing to say from the standpoint of looking out for the members, but was that the Christian thing to say? I don’t know. One thing’s for sure, though. If we ever get that next stimulus check I keep hearing about, if someone comes up and asks me for $5 for gas, they’re getting it. Thank you for reading my 47th blog.

Mark Inglis

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