Public Square

Philanthropy Is More Than Just Giving

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Amidst our many debates concerning how to best help the poor, it’s easy to forget why we are helping in the first place.

Of course, as Lord Brian Griffiths mentioned in his post today, the Bible tells us to care for the poor, and we should seek to do so wisely and effectively.

But is it possible that we could still be missing something?

Nathaniel Torrey, an editor at Humane Pursuits recounts how he once begrudgingly given a sandwich and some money to a homeless man. It seemed like a good thing to do, but the condition of his heart was all wrong. Reflecting on this experience, he said.

I realized how profoundly un-philanthropic my actions had been. I had not given any of those men the few dollars for their own well-being. I had only been giving money to them to feel good about myself and to ease my own conscience.

Do we help in order to do our “good deed of the day” or to let others see how generous we are? How do we change our hearts to give not only wisely but lovingly? Read the rest of Torrey’s thoughts here.

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