<<kindness, goodwill>>

It is showing God’s love to others and sharing your resources with those in genuine need.

The parable of the Good Samaritan illustrates the kindness, compassion and involvement that we should show to those in genuine need. The caregiver allowed his schedule to be interrupted when he entered into the victim’s world, got his hands dirty, gave of his resources, provided for the injured man’s necessities and picked up the bill for his recovery. Jesus would also say to us, “Go and do likewise” (Lk 10:30-37). Valid faith must be put into action (Jas 2:15,16).

Jesus, who was rich, became poor, so that we who were spiritually bankrupt can be spiritually rich (2 Cor 8:9).  We are to be perceptive of the needs around us, meeting them appropriately, as we are able to and thus fulfilling the law of Christ (Gal 6:2). “Freely you have received, freely give” is blessing others with what you have been blessed with (Mt 10:8). “He who gives to the poor will lack nothing” (Prov 28:27). “As you refresh others, you will also be refreshed” (Prov 11:25). In blessing others, we also are blessed as shown in the life of Boaz (Ruth 2:8ff).

Often referred to as the 'golden rule' being benevolent is focusing on others, ministering the love of Christ to them, doing to them as we would they do to us (Mt 25:40; Mk 12:31; Lk 6:31; Act 20:35). It is looking beyond our own ‘world’ and seeing the plight of others who are not coping with life. Who knows but at some stage in life the scenario might be reversed and we are the ones receiving

Do I freely share with those less fortunate?

(2 Cor 8:14). The Bible outlines the sowing and reaping principle that states we will receive the kind of harvest that we have sown (Gal 6:7-10). It also indicates that with the degree of generosity we have given to others is the measure by which we will receive (Lk 6:38; 2 Cor 9:6).

Ministering in Jesus name is often costly and demanding, but how else can we show His love to a hurting world? Those with a ‘big heart’ can be taken advantage of by the people they are ministering to, exploiting the generosity given. Wisdom is needed to see when it is a genuine necessity requiring outside assistance as opposed to something the person can and should do themselves. Benevolence should not so much be a handout as a hand-up, supplying the resources so they can become self-sufficient.

See also: benefit, generosity, gifts and giving, golden rule, goodwill, handout/hand-up, kindness, others, sow and reap.