God is concerned about the plight of the poor and disadvantaged and doesn’t ignore the prayers of those who cry out for help (Ps 9:12). Christians should act with fairness, not exploiting the oppressed but extending dignity and assistance to all humans because each has been made in the image of God and Christ died so all who come to Him can be forgiven of their sin and become children of God. Without Christ we are all poor and needy (Ps 70:5).

Help find and provide healthy long-lasting solutions rather than continual handouts for those in need.  Assist with budgeting rather than just give money to struggling families who can’t manage their finances. A hand up teaches people how to ‘fish’ so they can provide for their ongoing needs and be self-sufficient rather than continually depending on outside help to meet recuring necessities.

As members of the body of Christ we are to enter into the suffering being experienced by others (1 Cor 12:26; Heb 13:3). Christianity that is practical is valid, being love in action, with

Put yourself in their place, just as Christ did for us

faith being outworked by doing to others as we would like done to us if the roles were reversed and seeing anyone in need as a neighbour (Mk 12:31; Lk 6:31; Jas 1:22,27, 2:15,16,22). Jesus instructs us “Go and do likewise” for serving others glorifies God and by doing it unto the least we are in fact doing it to Him (Mt 5:16, 25:40; Lk 10:37). Sympathy feels sorry for people in their plight, while compassion finds a way to help solve it. “Blessed is the person who is kind to the needy, they will be rewarded” such as the wife of noble character (Prov 14:21, 19:17, 28:27, 31:20).

We honour God by unselfishly helping those in need. How can His love be in us if we don’t respond in love? (1 Jn 3:17). It will be costly and inconvenient
– it was for Jesus also who met our greatest need, providing salvation that we could not gain any other way (Rom 5:6-11). Some unselfish believers, even in their extreme poverty, gave liberally to those also in want (1 Cor 10:24; 2 Cor 8:2-4; Phil 2:4).

When giving to the needy, we are not to draw attention to ourselves, our motive should be to show the love of God and not to receive recognition and praise from mankind (Mt 6:1-4).

The early church was instructed to care for their genuinely needy members who were contributing to the spiritual life of the church if no other family members are able to (1 Tim 5:3-6).

See also: gifts and giving, golden rule, handout/hand-up, needs, neighbour, others, outward focused, poor, refugee, share.