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What a Con Man Taught Me About Generosity

Part of our family’s on-purpose giving plan includes setting aside cash for spontaneous giving. In fact, we keep a special envelope hidden in our glove compartment for Spirit-prompted generosity.

One blustery day, I jumped in my car to accomplish the various tasks on my to-do list. “Lord, take the steering wheel of my day and use me to be a generous blessing to just one person today,” I prayed.

I stopped at our local station to fill up my tank. As I got back in my car, I heard a tap tap tap on my car window and saw a man’s face staring at me. Startled, I asked the Lord, “Is this the person I’m supposed to bless today?” I had an impression in my heart that said, “Yes!” I cracked the window and he told me he was badly in need of money for car repairs and life struggles. I gave him the money and prayed for him.

That evening I told my husband the story. He replied, “Sweetheart, that man is nothing but a con man.”  Apparently, a couple of guys worked the small mountain town gas stations, hustling people out of their money. My heart sank. I was confident I’d heard from the Lord to give and bless that man.

Feeling embarrassed, gullible, and angry, I prayed, “I thought this was the man You led me to help. But now I find he is a crook. Did I not hear You right?” In that moment, the Lord showed me the end game of this man’s life. I was grieved and broken for his spiritual condition. I could then pray with compassion, “Lord, please redeem this situation and save this man.”

One week later, this same man approached my husband as he left a local restaurant. When he began his hard knock spiel, my husband interrupted him. “I know who you are! You approached my wife at the gas station along Bergen Park Road, and she prayed for you and gave you money.” Suddenly, the man’s eyes were wide and his face was pale with a look of shock. “I told my wife that you are nothing but a con-man,” my husband continued, “but she didn’t care because she was confident that God wanted you to be blessed that day. Don’t you understand that God loves you? It’s not coincidence you approached me. He is after you because He loves you.” The man broke down and confessed he knew what he was doing was wrong. He wanted to change but didn’t know how.

In that parking lot, my husband shared the gospel and prayed with him to receive Christ. Afterwards, he took out his wallet and said, “Here is all the money I have in my wallet. I want you to know this is not mine. It’s God’s. He sees you. He cares for you and He loves you very much.”

Romans 5:8

But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Suzanne Chrisman

About Author

Suzanne Chrisman

Igniting prayer and seeing God move in significant ways is what fuels Suzanne Chrisman. She believes in the power of prayer and has a passion to pray for God’s heartbeat of generosity to move across our nation. With more than 16 years experience in prayer leadership, Suzanne has served with organizations such as Moms in Prayer, National Day of Prayer, and National Christian Foundation Colorado as their Chief Prayer Officer. She is a Texas Tech alum and has prior education and experience in hospitality management. She and her husband have three children and currently reside in Kitty Hawk, NC. Suzanne’s purpose statement is “encouraging faith.”

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