Philanthropy is the act of giving money, goods, or services to charitable causes. It's a Christian concept. God says a great deal in His Word about wealth, and philanthropy is one major focus.
In Proverbs, God says that "one man gives freely, yet gains even more, another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. People curse the man who hoards grain, but blessing crowns him who is willing to sell" (11:24-26).In 1 Timothy, we're told to "be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share" (6:18).
Giving is an expected part of the Christian life, not only in the form of a tithe to God, but also as offerings to good causes over and above our tithe. In all this, we are to be cheerful givers (I Cor. 9:7).
Christians in colonial times took God's giving commands so seriously that they encouraged each other to give even more than tithes and offerings in order to endow schools, colleges, orphanages, missions and more. In fact, a person who died in possession of great wealth was disdained as a poor steward.
Philanthropy is not just a task and an opportunity of the wealthy. It is the responsibility of every Christian within the level of means God has provided. In the New Testament, Jesus praised the Widow for her faithful and sacrificially given mite, one of the smallest of Middle Eastern coins.
God blesses all gifts given in true charity.God owns the cattle on a thousand hills. He does not need your gift, but He expects it and He will use it.
© Rex M. Rogers –All Rights Reserved, 2010
Revised "Making a Difference" program #136 originally recorded, September 22, 1994.
This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part but must include a full attribution statement. Contact Dr. Rogers or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com or follow him at www.twitter.com/rexmrogers.