Monday, August 27, 2012

Do What Your Heart Tells You

To help or not to help?

While we were out running errands the other day, we stopped at a red light waiting for our turn to go.  As we were waiting, I noticed there was a young couple (probably mid-20's) holding a sign.  Not sure if they were a couple or siblings. I don't remember the exact wording of the sign but it was something like:

My family and I are facing hard times and we could really use your help.  Anything you can give will be appreciated. God bless you.

(From the backseat) J says: Mama, what are those people doing?

(Taking the obvious route) Me: They are holding a sign.

J: What does the sign say?

Me: The sign is asking for help.

J: What kind of help?

Me: I'm not sure, J.

J: We should call the police so the police can help them.

My sweet, sweet boy.  He has such a big heart. We tell him that the police keep people safe and help people who need it. J thought the police could help these people who needed it.

My heart went out to these people.  For them to stand on the corner of a busy intersection and hold a sign asking for people's help, they had to swallow their pride and risk being ridiculed. I imagine they are boldly putting themselves out there to ask for help as they felt they had no other options.

Were they really in need?  Did they really need my money or someone else's money to make ends meet? Or were they just running a scam?  Trying to see how many poor saps would stop and dole out their hard earned cash to them.

The answer is: I don't know.  I don't know if these people really needed financial assistance or were dishonest people taking advantage of kind souls.

They looked nice enough.  But how many times have we discovered that you can't judge a book by it's cover?

See, I choose not to help those people that day.  I wasn't sure if they were really down on their luck or if they were trying to make some quick cash.  Since I was on the fence, I decided not to help out. 

So herein lies the question: If you are not sure if they honestly need help, do you help or do you not? I've been thinking about this question a lot lately as it has been weighing on my heart.

And this is what I think.  You need to do what you feel led to do.  If you feel led to help these people by giving them money, or food to eat, then that is what you should do.  Maybe you will help them by praying for them. If you have a bad feeling about these folks or feel they are trying to scam you, then you should pass on giving them assistance. Or maybe you don't want to help for whatever reason and I respect your decision.

If these people are dishonest people and they're running a scam, then that is on them. They will have to carry that around with them. You do what you think is right regardless of what someone else does.  You can't make people do or say the right thing.  You are responsible for you.

Regardless of whether or not the people asking for assistance are honest, I believe that if you decide to help them, it shows you are a person of strong character and a generous soul.  And I also believe you will be blessed for doing so.

Yes, there are dirt bags and scam artists our there. But there are also really good, decent people out there too.

In the end, do what your heart tells you.


  1. That's a tough one - what a world we live in that we even need to wonder if someone is faking it or not!

    It is about feeling drawn to helping out at the end of the day.


    1. Sarah, I agree. You just have to do what you feel led to do. It's a tough call that's for sure.
      Thanks for stopping by! Look forward to checking out your blog! :)

  2. Peter and I encountered an older gentleman on a street corner recently. His sign said something like "hungry, every little bit helps." We had a watermelon in the car. Asked this guy if he wanted it. I have never seen eyes light up so fast! I bet that guy enjoyed every last bite of that watermelon.

    1. JCo, that is an awesome story! Thanks for sharing it with me. Glad you stopped by for a visit! :)

  3. Wow! You should listen to your heart. I believe that is Jesus sometimes... Nice post!

    Stopping by from TTWFI! Love for you to stop by and return the follow. Hosting Mom's Monday Mingle. Love for you to link up ;)

    1. Thanks for the kind words and for the invite! I will "hop" over there and sign up! Cute website! I am now signed up to follow you as well. :)

  4. This is always a tough call for me, it breaks my heart to not give help where it's needed, but at the same time I hate to be taken in. I feel there are so much better ways to make the money last if I'm helping people too. I like the reaction of your child, love how the police are a symbol to them of 'help'

    1. Durante, it is a difficult call as to help or not. In the end, you can never be certain if they are being on honest or not. You just have to do what your heart tells you.
      Thanks for visiting! :)

  5. It's tough to live in an age where we have to make these decisions instead of being able to just HELP people! I'm a new follower from the Mom's Mingle and I'd love a follow back at when you get the chance! :)

    1. Cassie, I agree with you one hundred percent! Thanks for the follow and I am now following you as well. So glad you stopped by and have linked up! :)

  6. Really well put, Michelle! I have struggled with this too, but you're right--the only heart we should concern ourselves with is that of our own. We can't judge other people!

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Meredith! I find that if we try to keep score, we end up with only a scorecard. ;)
      Thanks for stopping by for a visit!


Thanks for reading and commenting!