A lot of Charity happens this time of year - especially in our congregation. We put on a Thanksgiving dinner, free to the public. We do an angel tree - this year 36 kids. We will make food baskets up for 10-12 families. A lot of things.
Then of course, I myself get requests for aid. Some of these are outlandish (for another pastor's example, check out post on one of his recent encounters), some are iffy, and some are matters of serious need.
How do you respond? At what point does it become a point where you can harden yourself to another person's request? I'm sure if it is a matter where you end up merely feeding an addiction or something like that - but there are times when your giving, your aid has to stop so that you can take care of your own responsibilities (not that most of us approach that point).
But this highlights something that we must accept. There are limited resources in this world, and you have been made steward over some of them. In your role as steward, you have been give certain areas of special focus - your family, your Church, your immediate neighbors, and then others. In your stewardship, you must make decisions, you must prioritize how you handle things.
At this point, one might say, "Well, you should just trust the Lord, that He will provide." Does that mean you should give the family's groceries for the week away... every week? Or would that be an abrogation of my given responsibility (my family) for some sort of feel-good at the best, works righteous at the worst holiness kick that brings harm to those entrusted to my care? Is it "faithfulness" to put God to the test while at the same time depriving those He has already entrusted to my care?
I think sometimes, and perhaps this is just a product of being in the bible belt, that we can forget how the Lord already *has* provided, that we are to be stewards of what He has given, and run and tend to the responsibilities He has already given us. Find your responsibilities (including the stranger), and work through them, balance them, and in all things pray for the return of Christ.