Should I give money to beggars

When do we give and why

Some people see the woman on the side of the freeway exit and say "Look at her, she has NIKE shoes on or she is smoking and has $7 dollars to buy cigarettes so why should I help her?

Look at him he is able bodied how come he does not go to a temp service or how come he does not go looking for work?

Others look at people asking for money and say "Look at them, they have two hands, two feet, why can't they go work for their money?

Not too long ago there was a TV documentary on that showed beggars in New York and how they would ask for money during busy times and then go get in their cars and drive home. They were using this as a business, finding that during a busy time they could make much more then when they were working a regular job. They would change clothes and go beg and then change clothes and become a different person later on. Do these type of beggars give real beggars a bad name? Someone that is truly in need may suffer because people like this is actually just taking advantage of people.

Many times homeless people don't want help or at least the type of help that is being offered. Many of them would rather live on the street than being confined to an institution. Trying to eat right.

Two buckets and a bowel?

Modern beggars are changing and most of them even have phones and apparently some of them have apps that allow them to accept credit cards. That blows me away. A recent NPR interview about a couple that lived on the street was very interesting as it explained how the couple would get their phones charged when they found an available outlet on the outside of a building.

Is this a business?

The Mormon scripture in the Book of Mormon is clear saying that we should not deny the beggar. It also says that we should not judge them by saying that they brought this upon themselves. Many people even Mormons will try to argue this point although the scripture seems very clear. Mosiah 4: 16-19

16 And also, ye yourselves will asuccor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the bbeggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish.

17 Perhaps thou shalt asay: The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just—

18 But I say unto you, O man, whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he hath done he perisheth forever, and hath no interest in the kingdom of God.

19 For behold, are we not all abeggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?

You can't tell him to go to work sweeping or any such thing.

The Old Testament considers begging to be bad. Psalm 37:25 promises that the children of people who are truly righteous will never be reduced to begging for their food. Two verses in Proverbs portray begging as the result of laziness. The person who is too lazy to plow and plant in the spring will find himself begging during the harvest. To prevent this from happening, lazy people are advised to "consider" how ants store food whenever it is available. (Proverbs 20:4, Proverbs 6:6-8). This verse is similar to Paul's injunction in the New Testament that penalizes people who refuse to work by withholding their food (2 Thessalonians 3:10).

Read more: What Does the Bible Say About Beggars? |

Why do we fail at caring for the elderly?


Both of the beggars that Jesus met were blind. Mark 10:46ff and Luke 18:35ff recount the same story of Bartimaeus, a blind beggar who called loudly as Jesus' passing entourage moved through Jericho. In spite of the rebuke of many bystanders, Jesus turned aside and asked the beggar what he wanted. "Rabbi, I want to see," said the beggar. Jesus replied that the man's faith had healed him. The effect was immediate and the former beggar began to follow Jesus. A second man who had been blind since birth was another beggar. When Jesus saw him, he told him to go and wash himself in the Pool of Siloam. This act of obedience resulted in his healing.


One of the Bible's earliest demonstrations of the ongoing power of the message of Jesus also involved a beggar. This man had been crippled from birth and habitually begged at the gate of the temple in Jerusalem where the early church members met to pray every afternoon. When Peter and John arrived one day, he asked them for money. Peter demanded the beggar's attention and announced that though there was no money to be given, they would give what they had. Then Peter pulled the beggar to his feet and commanded him to be healed in the name of Jesus. It happened. The sermon that followed persuaded 5,000 people to believe that Jesus had risen from the dead, that he was the Jewish Messiah. Peter and John were arrested and jailed by the religious leaders but released the next day.


Jesus told a story about a beggar, Lazarus, and a rich man. Lazarus had begged daily in front of this rich man's house but the rich man never gave him anything. Both men died. The beggar found himself in comfort with Abraham, but the rich man was in agony in a burning fire. He was thirsty so he asked Abraham to send the beggar to give him a drop of water to cool his tongue. Abraham reminded the rich man that he was reaping what he had sowed in the way he had treated the beggar when they both lived. He refused his request.

Read more: What Does the Bible Say About Beggars? |

My wife sometimes feels like she wants to give money to beggars and at other times she does not feel inclined to do so. My children at times have also given money to beggars. One time I was with some friends and we passed a beggar by the Mormon temple in the winter and the wife of my friend went to her car, got a blanket and came back with that instead of money. Many times in Guatemala when I was there beggars would ask for money and we would offer to by them food and many times they would turn the food down and explain they wanted the money instead. Most of them had drinking problems and would use the money to drink. Coming back to the scripture references: When we start going through these things in our mind are we in essence judging them?