Pope Francis recently gave an interview to an Italian magazine, and was asked whether or not Christians should give to individuals panhandling on the street, even if, as the interviewer poses the question, that person will just go spend it on wine. According to the pope, we are called to help those in need—regardless of our own suspicions or assumptions.
[If] a glass of wine is the only happiness he has in life, that’s O.K. Instead, ask yourself, what do you do on the sly? What ‘happiness’ do you seek in secret?
The pope says that it is “always right” to help those that are seeking it, despite there being “many excuses” for people not to be generous. He also added that it should be with dignity: “tossing money and not looking in (their) eyes is not a Christian” way to behave.
Jesse Carey is a mainstay on the weekly RELEVANT Podcast and member of RELEVANT's executive board. He lives in Virginia Beach with his wife and two kids.