Who Should We Give to?

My beautiful picture

A view on Madras/India in 1990. Today the official name of this city is Chennai.


Giving to poor and needy possibly is a more difficult subject in our days than it was in the time when the bible was written. In those days people would far more likely know each other than in some of the contemporary mega cities.

I tend to imagine something similar to rural villages when I think of cities and towns mentioned in the bible. People depended on agriculture much more than today. They needed many fields to grow their crops. That means not very many people could dwell in one place.

Well certainly this is only one aspect of life in those days. There have been other crafts too. Joseph was a carpenter. Some of the disciples of Jesus had been fishermen. Peter stayed in the house of a tanner.

There have been poor people in Israel too. Some could not make their living due to physical problems and sicknesses. A poor harvest could be the reason for things getting rather tight too.

People would know each other. Some would be better off. Several would be able to give alms to the suffering and the needy.

In Western societies today life is much more anonymous. Cities and towns are bigger and larger than they were in those days and inhabited by more people. Modern skills in building houses make it possible that many persons dwell in a comparably small space just one living on top of the other. Modern skyscrapers would be unheard of in bible times.

Travelling is far more easy and comfortable today than it was then. Strangers can go to nearly any place.

In Germany we hear of clusters of people coming from Rumania or other countries just for begging. Nobody knows who they are. They will tell of some pressing need. They may even pretend they are sick or unable to walk just to take advantage of others feeling pity.

Giving to the poor and needy has been institutionalised. In my country some provision is given by the state. There are specialists caring for people with particular needs.

It is amazing after some catastrophic event, how many people are prepared to give to those in need. There have been instances of villages or small towns being flooded. If something happens somewhere in the world, be it a tornado, an earthquake or a flood many do happily spend some of their earnings to support the bereaved.

Yet if a beggar should sit or kneel somewhere in a town many will suspect him or her to be a deceiver. People are ready to help but they understandably do not want to be deceived. Life is somewhat anonymous in modern cities.

I do not know how you feel about giving to the poor and needy. To St. Paul almsgiving was an important aspect of his religion. Yet in 1 Corinthians 13:3 he stresses a need for the proper attitude in giving: “If I give all I possess to the poor…, but have not love, I gain nothing.” (NIV).



About christenfindenruhe

Auf meinem deutschen Blog möchte ich kurze Texte über Matthäus 11 Verse 28 bis 30 veröffentlichen und die frohe Botschaft von Jesus Christus anschaulich machen. Es lohnt sich, Jesus Christus zu vertrauen. On my new English blog "Motivation of Christian Love" I am sharing my thoughts on 1 Corinthians 13 and other biblical texts.
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2 Responses to Who Should We Give to?

  1. Pure Glory says:

    The love of God has to
    Be our primary motivation of everything we do. Otherwise, it is hay and stubble that will be of no value and burned up. There have been gifts I was given that I did not want or use due to the motivation being to control, obligate or manipulate me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you! Greetings, and God bless!


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