After observing this man while I ate, I decided that it would be good for me to give him some money. He seemed genuine, not like a scammer, and it would be wrong for me to not help him if I could. So, after eating, I walked over to an ATM and got five bucks out.
I asked the man if he had any luck yet, and he ruefully replied that he hadn't. I then asked, "Have you said a prayer?" He surprised me by earnestly saying he had, actually prayed. I handed the five dollar bill over and said his prayer had been answered.
I walked off after getting his name and shaking his hand, wishing him well. I felt that although I'd done a good deed, there was something wrong.
You see, although "It's what Jesus would do" had been a factor in my mind, too heavily had thoughts of what one of the social elites at church would have done weighed on me. I'm sure many of them would have said "I'm sorry" to the man, and not given him another thought. A few, perhaps, would have actually genuinely been concerned for him, while the rest would have given him some money for show in order to look 'righteous' in front of their peers.
These thoughts colored my mindset when I shared my relative abundance with this man, and robbed me of the joy of my charity. For instead of love, my heart was full of pride.
Control your thoughts, and have feelings of true love for your fellow men when you see opportunities to help them. Learn from my mistake.