<<love, aid>>

Charity is both an attitude and an activity. Without charity (also called love), any other action is defective and substandard (1 Cor 13:1-8). It should be the motivating force of all we do as it reflects the nature of God Himself (Gal 5:22; Eph 2:4; 1 Jn 4:8). The Bibles message is to “Do everything in love [with charity]…loving one another deeply” (1 Cor 16:14).

Charity is being kind to the poor, not closing your eyes to their need, but helping them in their plight (Prov 19:17, 28:27, 31:8,9). This practical sacrificial love reaches out to help and care for those in need, willingly and generously, doing to others what we would like done to us if we were in their situation yet

Give generously and wisely

without drawing attention to ourselves (Mt 6:1-4, 25:35-45; Mk 12:31; Act 4:32-35, 10:2,4, 11:27-30). When we care for someone in need, we do the will of Christ. As much as possible these actions should not become a dependency or handout issue, rather a hand-up so the recipient can become self-sufficient. Maybe one day we will be on the receiving end and the Bible teaches that we will receive in proportion to what we have given (Lk 6:38; Rom 15:26,27; 2 Cor 8:14, 9:6; Gal 6:7). “Freely you have received, freely give” – follow God’s generous example who graciously gave us all things (Mt 10:8; Rom 8:32; 2 Pet 1:3).

The Bible asks if we see another person in need and we fail to help when we can, how can the love of God be in us? (1 Jn 3:17,18). Expressed another way it is faith without accompanying actions is worthless (Jas 2:14-17). Our care for the needy is a reflection of our love for Christ and our position as His children, with it being an evidence of our salvation and the presence of the Holy Spirit within us. While there is an infinite number of genuine needs around us we are to exercise wisdom and discernment and seek God's direction as which to give to. Being good stewards of what God has given us is ensuring the resources are used properly. He has not only provides for us but desires we reach out and minister to others.

See also: benevolence, care, golden rule, good works, handout/hand up, love, poor, welfare.