Gary Hank Thompson, 30, has done pretty well financially by begging for money in Lexington, Kentucky. Thompson recently admitted that he makes $60,000 to $100,000 a year from the kindness of strangers.
Thompson has pleaded guilty to two counts of theft by deception because he has pretended to be mentally handicapped. His ruse has left many people feeling deceived after they learned that he was not really mentally disabled.
It’s sometimes difficult to know when to give help to someone who seems to be in need.
On the one hand, the Bible seems to say that we should be discerning about our giving. Proverbs 3:27 says, “Do not withhold good from those who deserve it (emphasis mine), when it is in your power to act.”
On the other hand, we don’t always have the time or ability to properly assess someone’s need. For example, when the Good Samaritan helped the man he found beaten and half dead, it doesn’t appear that he checked out the man’s credentials—he just helped him (Luke 10).
I suppose if we err, we should err on the side of mercy. But let’s try to give help to those who truly need it.