When it comes to people asking me for money, I’ve always battled the “who do I help” and “who do I not help” question. I’ve literally heard every sob-story and every sad excuse for why someone needs __________ (you can fill in the blank). I’ve finally come to the realization that I’m just going to help everyone I can and let God figure out if they were being honest or not. I figure I’d rather help people that didn’t need it, than miss an opportunity to help someone who did. I’ve also noticed that most of the time helping others really helps me.

I’ve never called a homeless person a bum, but I met what many refer to as a “bum” the other night. He walked up to my window at the Sonic drive-in and asked for a few bucks so he could get something to eat. From the looks of him, he was obviously WAY down on his luck. I could clearly smell cigarette smoke and liquor on him. No telling how long it had been since this guy had a bath. I noticed his speech was a little slurred as he handed me a quarter and said, “I’ll trade you my very last quarter for a few dollars.” I like this guys approach. I told him that wasn’t very fair, because I felt I was getting the better end of that deal. “There’s not too many times in your life that you get a man’s last quarter,” I told him. I gave him a five dollar bill and gave him his quarter back. I really didn’t think much of it till my kids, who were all sitting in the back seat said, “Dad, that was really cool you helping him out like that.” Then it hit me that maybe, just maybe, I not only fed a “bum” but also taught my boys a lesson about helping others.

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give your something to drink?” … Then the King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'”

(For more on helping needy people read John Dobbs excellent post called, “Getting to the Why.”)

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Article by Trey Morgan

I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast. Read 1182 articles by
16 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Anonymous says:

    on “criminal minds” last night, it had a moral about the value of human life, even prostitutes, homeless and druggies. I was pleasantly surprised.

    of course, there was no need for the “saw/hostel” type gore and violence. but that’s another story


  2. Louie Mercer, Frank Mercer and Mike Ellis: The Church for Men Dudes says:


    God is putting the “least of these” in my path at least once a week. My friend Frank Mercer told me that when he encounter someone in need he doesn’t pray if he should help but how much. Great post.

  3. Gilbert Kerrigan says:

    I’ve gotten to the point in my life where if I have something then I’m going to give it if someone ask. Every time someone comes to me in a situation like that I just hear Jesus’ words pounding in my head: “Give to everyone who ask of you… (Luke 6:30)”

    I taught a class at church about this passage, and others like it. The next week someone came to me and said, “I was in downtown Nashville last week and thanks to you I was broke four blocks into the city.” He said it smiling. I thought it was a neat testimony to the power of Jesus’ words.

  4. preacherman says:

    Thanks for sharing this story. So, many minister and churches question people that are in need that so many people are afraid to ask for help even those who are brothers and sister in Christ. I was working in a Church one time a preacher in his sermon mentioned “how sad it was that people had to rely on the Government for assistance when they should be working. All people on welfare a lazy.” One of younger women in the congregation was a new convert had lost her husband in an accident and was raising 3 children on her own. She was to afraid to ask for assistance from the Chrurch because she was on welfare because of her situation. I believe as the Church and ministers we should like you mentioned leave it in hands of God to judge if their hearts are pure and give to those in need. We need to made a differnce in the world to those who are hurting, who need help with food, clothes, housing. Showing people the function of the 1st century Church I believe will turn this world upside down and make a huge difference for the kingdom of God. In order for us to do it we must put our gifts to work & not judge, but give freely as Christ himself gave freely.

    Sorry, it was so long, but you hit a nerve. Great post brother. Are you going to ACU lectures?

  5. John Roberts says:

    Trey, I had the same experience with my son a while back. We had stopped at a stop light where a homeless man with a sign was sitting. I pulled out five dollars and handed it to him through the window. My son (16 years old) said, “that was cool.” I decided then and there to have an extra $5 tucked in my truck visor.

  6. Monalea says:

    Good, very good! I’m glad you shared this with me. I’m never sure how to handle the ‘bums’ I’ve encountered. Funny, but I have a child that never misses an opportunity to help the ones on the street, while I’ve just kind of shrugged my shoulders in confusion.


  7. Mommysmart says:

    This was a wonderful post!!!

    I would say that the lesson to your kids was worth that $5.00. I just wish that all lessons were that inexpensive.

  8. David Kirk says:

    Trey, can you loan me $20? Have a great day!

  9. TREY MORGAN says:

    Preacherman – I’m planning on going on Monday to ACU. You going to be there?

    David … you’re a bum.

  10. The Preacher's Household: says:

    This scripture is why we were going to use Delestadees as a middle name if the girls were a boy. It is a great thing for people to learn and remember.

    I think preacherman brought up an interesting point in the woman who was on wellfare due to her situation. Most of the people I know on wellfare either for food or medical, certainly do not want to be. They don’t want to have to ask for help and they don’t want people to know they are in need of help. Most of the time I think it is better to just help, don’t say why and go on. We should be always be on the look out of the non bum types in our midst that could really use the help.


    BTW, I didn’t know Elvis was so short… :)

  11. Greg says:

    I, too, would rather help one not “deserving” it than not help the one who really needs help. For years we’ve bought meals for people who requested help (I usually don’t give money) and more recently began to keep sack lunches in the car to give out as people asked for help. I remember one guy with a sign that proclaimed: Who am I kidding? I’m going to buy booze with your money.” My friend gave him $5.00!

  12. leslie says:

    encouraging post.

    i rarely carry cash or even change. in albuquerque, the regulars around the university would get angry with you for not having any. here, in portland, i apologized to a fellow and he smiled and said it was alright. he was so gracious.

    i want my daughter to see that acknowledgment of the other as a human being is important; even if she doesn’t have the cash they are asking for.

  13. merry says:

    I recently had a discussion with a co-worker about this sort of thing. He was quite sure that the Bible says, “If you give a man a fish, he eats for a day. If you teach a man to fish, he eats for a life.” I told him while that’s a great principle, it’s not in the Bible. He wasn’t so sure.

    I could tell some stories, but I’ll just say that I’m becoming more of a “Here’s what I have to help” person than a “sorry, don’t have time for you” person.

    The book and movie Les Miserables has an incredible story of grace and redemption that was sparked when someone undeserving was given a gift when he asked for help.

  14. preacherman says:

    I won’t be at lectureship this year. Sorry bro.

    I did see a homeless man in Santa Fe one time, holding up a sign being honest. It simply read:
    So many because of his honesty were handing the man so much money.

  15. One Observationist says:

    Great point Trey. I’ve always rolled up the windows and looked away when a dirty dude walked up to the window at a stop light. I like your approach. Thanks for sharing.


  16. That Girl says:

    My ex-husband was one of the best about helping others out. I met him at Hardee’s one day for lunch and a stranger got out of the car, too. He had been hungry so Jeff brought him to Hardee’s!

    The ex might have gone a little too far when he decided to choose one of them for his girl friend but… we’ve all got faults, right? :)

About Me

Trey Morgan Here are my thoughts about marriage, family, raising children, humor, faith and the life God intended for us all. I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast.

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Trey Morgan
Husband, father and cancer survivor & Senior Minister for the Childress Church of Christ. Tweets about life, marriage, Texas Rangers and randomness.
  • good list. Don't forget Nickelback, OJ, ISIS and beer-throwing Blue Jay fans.
  • He was pretty tough to listen to as well.
  • As crazy as it might sound, Chris Collinsworth just might be worse to listen to than the song Christmas Shoes.
  • Please remember that some Christmas music is incredibly offensive to people with grandmothers who actually were run over by reindeer.
  • Unfortunately, not a great night for "bobcats." :)

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