He will reply, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.” (Matt. 25:45)

“IT’S NOT MY RESPONSIIBLITY,” he scoffed as he ordered his extra-large, fat-free latte with extra vanilla and an espresso shot. “That’s why I pay taxes. Let the government take care of them.” He took a deep slurp and sidestepped a homeless man crouched near the entrance holding a cardboard sign. His friend tagged along, but not before he slipped the beggar his just-purchased coffee and a Danish.

The world does not call us to take care of those less fortunate, and there is the argument that if we do so we’ll perpetuate their dependency. What does our Lord call us to do?

I asked my pastor about this dilemma one day, afraid any money I gave a panhandler might be used for booze and drugs, not food. I had even heard that some beggars make more than I do and never pay taxes. He nodded and laid a hand on my shoulder. “Ah, but that is between them and God.”

His response gave me a new perspective. So do these verses in Matthew. I don’t want to disappoint my Lord. Helping another less fortunate than I am is the least I can do. The rest is not up to me.

Find an opportunity to give freely today.

Julie B. Cosgrove is a widowed Christian author and speaker who lives in Fort Worth, Texas. She is involved with women’s and outreach ministries.