Is It Easy to Help Others Without Expecting Anything From Them In Return?

‘And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.’

Luke 6:34

As we rushed along Main Street, my nephews and I noticed a man sitting with his back against the wall, his shoe-shining tools beside him, looking lost and desperate. Despite the bustling activity around him, he seemed invisible, as if he didn’t belong.

I felt a strange pull towards him, almost as if I knew him. It took me a moment to realize that he reminded me of my cousin Zack, who had gone through tough times himself. The man’s clothes were ragged and dirty, and his face bore the scars of a hard life on the streets.

Suddenly, he called out to us in a desperate voice, ‘Nau, kere fifty cents!’ He was begging for money, and my nephews and I hesitated for a moment. But then, we decided to help him in whatever way we could. Sometimes we gave him money, other times we bought him food. He told us that he had a child who was sick and he needed to pay rent.

But some days, he wouldn’t be there at his usual spot, and we wouldn’t see him again until weeks later. Regardless, we never forgot that lost, desperate man who reminded us of someone we knew.

Why is my giving conditional?

Recently, I noticed a reluctance in me to help him. Alright, okay, I admit it, the reluctance started when one of my nephews told me that the man (I still don’t know his name) was a known marijuana smoker (I still haven’t asked that nephew how he knew).

My struggle is not so much with giving without expecting anything back but with not knowing whether the money I give will be used for good. I guess, I want to know whether the person is genuine or not and does need help with his sick child, to pay the rent, or to buy food for his family, or whether he will use that money to buy cigarettes or alcohol or marijuana, or whatever else that is bad.

I mean it is my money, right? I worked for it; I’ve earned it, and I deserve to know that when I give or lend money to strangers it will be used for good things and not bad.

But isn’t that simply another form of ‘reward’, to demand to know how the money will be used? And isn’t that an arrogant and selfish attitude, to think that it was I who ‘earned’ the money and so it is mine? But then, in today’s world, with the high cost of living and the rise in unemployment, why would you help someone without expecting anything in return?

Bible verses on Giving (KJV)

Should we help others without expecting anything from them in return?

All these questions came to me while meditating on Luke 6, particularly in the passages where Yeshua (the Lord Jesus) was talking to His disciples about loving our enemies and giving without expecting anything in return.

If I believe the Holy Bible to be the Word of the One True God, Jehovah, and that He did send His Son, Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus Christ), our Lord and Saviour, and if His Holy Spirit lives in me, then I have to believe the words of Yeshua when He commanded us to ‘lend, hoping for nothing in return’.

‘But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for He is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.’

Luke 6:35

The Bible is very clear about Who owns the world, and it most certainly isn’t me. No, it is the LORD. And so, if it is the LORD who owns everything, then who am I to demand an accounting of money or things I give to help other people? Who am I to always be expecting a reward?

‘The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.’

Psalm 24:1

Judge not! Condemn not!

Yeshua was clear in His command to us in Luke 6:37 to not judge nor condemn others, for we will be judged and condemned likewise. I was guilty of executing judgement and condemnation over that stranger.

I admit that I judged him by his situation, the condition of his attire, and what other people told me about him.

I did not see him as God sees me, someone who stumbles now and then. Who is often desperate for God’s fresh mercy and grace to lift her and set her straight again.

As Yeshua said in that same verse, ‘Forgive, and you will be forgiven.’

I have repented of being judgmental and condemning others, and I have learned to forgive those who lie to get something from me. I have learned to forgive myself for being gullible at times.


Giving or lending without expecting anything in return is when we give like God, our heavenly Abba Father, Who gave His only Son because of His love for us.

It is still difficult not to judge others; what I do in those instances is, I immediately confess my sin to Almighty God and trust Him to forgive me.

Far more importantly perhaps, I have learned to pray that God clearly shows me, through the promptings of His Holy Spirit, who I should give to. I have asked Him to put people in my path who do need help and to equip me to help them, and to be merciful to them.

‘Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.’

Luke 6:36

Your move

Do you help others without any expectations? Why do you think people only help others when they know there will be a reward?

Share your opinions in the comment box below …


Abba Father,

LORD of all the earth! We praise You and thank You, Father God, for Your love, mercy, and grace. Help us, and teach us, to love and give unconditionally, just as You continue to love us and give what we need to us.

We ask this in the Name of Yeshua HaMashiach, our Lord and Saviour. Amen.

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