TIMES TRIBUNE (CORBIN, Ky.)
Before I moved here to Corbin, I lived in and around Lexington for seven years.
I spent more than four of those years getting my college degree at the University of Kentucky. I spent the last few years getting another degree and looking for full-time employment.
But during those first four years, I moved from apartment to apartment every summer.
For my senior year of college, though, I actually ended up living in a townhouse for two whole years.
Let me tell you, for my roommate and I, our townhouse was great.
It had two floors. A big living room, kitchen and half-bathroom downstairs. Upstairs, we had our own bedrooms, which were also quite large, and our own full bathrooms.
It was located in walking distance to campus as well as some of my favorite restaurants. And it was only about a mile or two from Rupp Arena. So we could walk to the UK games or other events and not have to worry about traffic or parking.
To say the least, we were very lucky to find such a nice and convenient rental property that close to everything.
However, there was one thing about that place I did not appreciate at the time.
For some reason, many of Lexington’s homeless citizens hung around that particular neighborhood.
Almost daily, someone would ask me for money as I walked to and from campus. Some of them would hang out in the restaurants looking for change. And occasionally, they would even come knocking at our door seeking a few bucks.
Of course, I couldn’t give money to everyone I run into or I would be homeless myself. But if I can help someone out, I will do whatever I can.
In this case, though, I had a feeling they were going to take my money and head straight to the liquor store. I even offered to walk with a man to McDonald’s and buy him a hamburger but he was not interested.
This notion I had that the poor folks I run into only want to take my money and waste it has even followed me to Corbin.
The other day, I heard about someone in the news who went around pretending to be homeless just to make a few extra dollars.
So when I pull out of a department store parking lot and see someone with a sign asking for help, I don’t trust those folks enough to give them anything from my pocket.
If I pull over to give them a few dollars, in my mind, they are going to waste that money on something foolish, or may even try to assault me and steal my car.
But that is not how God wants us to think.
If we feel led to give to someone who appears to be less fortunate, then we should follow our hearts and do it.
Proverbs 19:17 says, “Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.”
If that person takes the money and buys drugs or alcohol, then that is their problem. God will know that our intentions were in the right place, and will reward us in the end.
You could also really be helping someone out, too, and they will see that as a good Christian, you gave with your heart.
Brad Hall is the nighttime editor for the Times-Tribune. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit his blog at hallthingsconsidered.blogspot.com