Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.
They agreed about a lot of things, but they were at odds with respect to giving money to the poor. He had had many experiences in which a person’s request was suspect, and he could not be sure that the few dollars he gave were being used for real necessities. He stopped carrying cash so that he would not have to lie when random people on the street asked for money. He decided he would give food to the one who is hungry or clothing to the one who is cold, but he would not give money without knowing how it would be used. Her perspective was different. If she had a dollar, she gave a dollar. She did not feel she was called to judge who was worthy of her charity. She simply gave in the name of the Lord hoping it would yield fruit.
I have experienced not wanting to give to someone I did not know because I felt I needed to make sure that my gift would be used properly. That certainly put me in the position of being the judge of who merited my generosity and who did not. It was no different than when someone I knew was in need, perhaps due to his or her own bad choices, and I questioned whether that person deserved my gift. This scripture, however, does not include a qualifier of any kind. It simply tells us that we are to give as if the Lord were asking. This is the Lord taking the position of a father who is willing to pay back the debts of his children. God wants us to take care of those He loves, and He loves those He created. Unqualified generosity is what results when we give as if we are giving to him.
When we give to the poor, we can take the position that we are doing a good thing for the recipient of our generosity. If we take only that position, we are missing a greater part of the picture. Helping the poor is assuming God’s role of care and being his face and hands to those we help. Our repayment for this deed does not come from the fact that we helped other people, but it comes from the fact that we actually are doing this for the Lord. We never should ask the question of whether a person merits our generosity. The question we should ask is whether God merits it. Father, teach us to give as if we are giving unto You with unqualified generosity.