I have a question for you all that can only be asked clearly by telling the story behind it.
We have a family living in a very old-outdated (should be condemned) rental trailer down from our house. The man (Jerry) came up one morning asking if my husband could take his wife to the next town (20 miles north of us) for her to get their baby some formula from her home (she was in the process of moving in with him from this northern town). My husband was in the process of mowing our grass but told me about their need so we decided I would go to the local grocery store and buy a can of formula and give it to them. That was that.
The next day, Jerry came to our front door wanting to borrow our phone. My husband let him use the phone. This started becoming a daily thing. My three kids would say "he's here..." as he knocked on the day door in and day out wanting to use our phone. One time, after I handed him the phone to borrow, he asked me to look up the number for a local pizza delivery business. I apparently had become his conseierge! In the meantime, we have seen him in his front yard on his cell phone. My husband finally asked him what was going on about the phone situation and Jerry explained he needed to call his parole officer (yikes!) or another time to call his mom....never an emergency state, mind you.
One evening he asked to borrow a saw. We let him. Another evening he interrupted our dinner/family to ask for a pot to boil noodles in. That was quite frustrating for me and I said 'no'. He has used the phone several times since then and every time my husband and I grow increasingly frustrated with his frequent visits to our front door.
The last time I have seen him was a night about 7:30, my husband was gone to a meeting, and Jerry knocked on the door to ask if I had any sugar. I said that yes I had sugar but no he could not have any. I explained that we wanted to be good neighbors and help them when they needed it but sugar was not an emergency. He just stood there and blinked a minute and I was quite nervous thinking "oh goodness...he's gonna freak out on me" but he just said "ok..sorry" and walked back down the hill.
So the question comes: How much charity is too much? Based on my details above, how does that sit with you? I'm quite torn over it really. I realize that when people need help, the kingdom thoughts are that it doesn't matter WHY they need help but it is our duty to help them. On the other hand, I have three small children who I do not want opening the door to people that, I'm sorry for sounding biased, but are out on parole. You see how the circle goes in my head, right?