There must be something wrong with me spiritually. I seem to have developed a hardened heart when it comes to helping others. And what is sad about the whole thing, is that I am not really under conviction that I am wrong. In fact, I am almost angry with all the "bleeding-heart" organizations who try to "guilt me" into donating to their cause. I receive phone calls nearly everyday from law enforcement organizations, colleges, veteran's groups, and politicians whose "volunteers" try to "sell me" on their candidate's "savior-like" qualities. And heaven help me if I ever order something from a television preacher! It would take more than I could give just to print the volumes of materials they send soliciting more.
The Bible has several passages that teach people to be responsible for themselves, and not to take advantage of others. In Exodus 30:15, God expects the rich and the poor to give equally to atone for their sins. In Proverbs 20:13, we read, "Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty; open thine eyes, and thou shalt be satisfied with bread." In Paul's writings, we read, "But if any provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel" (1 Tim. 5:8). Also, "...that if any would not work, neither should he eat" (2 Thes. 3:10). We are also told that some are poor because God wants them to be (1 Sam. 2:7). It is possible that the individual is in the predicament he is in because it is God's way of bringing him into obedience.
On the other side of the coin, those of us who have pity upon the poor are lending unto the LORD, and God will repay the debt (Prov. 19:17; Matt. 25:42-45). If we close our ears to the cries of the poor, we shall become poor ourselves (Prov. 21:13). If we lend to the poor, we are not to ask for interest on the loan (Ex. 22:25). "The righteous sheweth mercy, and giveth" (Ps. 37:21). God even says He will curse those who fail to help the poor (Prov. 28:27). We are to "Give to him that asketh (of us), and from him that would borrow (from us), turn not away" (Lk. 6:30). And "He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise" (Lk. 3:11). And finally, another example of God's instructions concerning our helping the poor is found in 1 John 3:17, which says "Whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?"
In light of these passages, and because we are told not to grow weary in well-doing (Gal. 6:9; 2 Thes. 3:13), I am obviously wrong in my attitude. I should not attempt to determine who is being disciplined by God, and who is genuinely poor. When I feel that someone is taking advantage of me, I should forgive seventy times seven, and let the LORD deal with them. I know my attitude is bad, and I am truly sorry. I pray for forgiveness and that God will soften my heart. I also pray for wisdom and the spirit of discernment in dealing with those who approach me looking for handouts. I really need prayer in this area!