Jesus clearly states in His Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:42 ESV) we are to give alms to those who ask:
"Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you."Side note: What would you do if someone you don't even know asked to borrow your new $80,000 Hummer? Remember, were not to refuse the one who would borrow from us.
Paul (2 Thessalonians 3:10-12 ESV) presents a case for thoughtful giving. If we give indiscriminately to everyone who begs for help, we aid someone Paul tells us should not eat because they are unwilling to work.
"... If anyone is not willing to work let him not eat. For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living."On the surface it appears these two passages of scripture place us in an untenable position, and wedges us between a rock and a hard place trying to figure out what to do when someone begs of us. Jesus says give to the one who begs, while Paul says if a man is to lazy to work he shouldn't eat.
When we provide alms to a beggar who is obviously too lazy to work (not referring to those truly in need,) he becomes useless to himself and society, and becomes dependent on handouts without seeing the need to provide for himself. By our alms we encourage laziness, and actually cause him more harm than good.
Jesus says give to the beggar, yet my common sense says don't give to the beggar; not without first checking to see if he's really in need, or just seeking to add my name to his list of suckers who support him. Sucker, or not, I prefer to err on the side of benevolence than to take a chance of rejecting my neighbor who truly needs help. It's not always an easy decision, especially with the overload of those on drugs, booze, and whatever, that are roaming our streets looking for an easy source of income to supply their bad habits.