Living here in Glenwood certainly provides its share of unique experiences. Though not an every day occurance, it's not surprising to have a knock on the door late at night from a passerby in need of help, and the trick becomes how to discern whether or not their story is true. There are certainly some good questions to use as a litmus, but even then, things may not be as they seem. Now, I am by nature a sucker for a sad story, and I also love to please people, which makes me tend to want to help. I'm getting better at not giving in, but there are magic words that still make me want to help no matter what: "I know that you all are Christians."
Now, I am not saying that it is right to always respond to those words with help, but they communicate an expectation that Christians always help those in need and that it was my obligation to help. It's a powerful motivator when someone says that you are not acting as Jesus would if you don't help them. And it is so easy to respond to that by just doing what they want. But is that love? Is that what Jesus would always do? Each case is different, and to help them or not to help them can each be an act of independence from God (also known as sin). I am trying to grow in listening for the one Voice and one Motivation that should always precede action or inaction. The hard thing is sorting out that Voice from guilt, fear, annoyance, and pity (which is not the same as compassion).