Doing the Most Good

A Giving Focus

During the holiday season, one of the focuses is upon giving. A part of this drive to give involves contributing to charitable organizations. The end of the year is a time full of major pushes and drives to collect foodstuffs and money for the less fortunate.

Important Considerations

While such programs are at face value laudable, there are some considerations that must be made, especially when the child of God considers contributing to a charity:

What is the motivation?

To some, this may seem unimportant, which is troubling. Much of Christ’s teachings (especially the Sermon on the Mount) focus upon personal motivations. Is the desire to be charitable genuine, or driven by the “demands” of the season? Is giving a heartfelt expression of charity, or a good opportunity to ease one’s tax burden before the end of the year? A poor motivation does not negate the outcome of good, but may impose limits on any future good.

What does the organization teach?

Many secular charities espouse viewpoints in direct contradiction with the Word of God. It is unfortunate in our modern society that even groups that were founded to perform good deeds have become political organizations. Also, many organizations are themselves religious entities. For instance, the Salvation Army is a religious institution, with its own creed, doctrine, worship practice, etc. Is it valuable to contribute funds to a group that either denies the truth of God or teaches falsehood?

What is “the most good”?

This is a difficult consideration, but a worthwhile one. It is true that meeting the needs of our fellow man should be of great concern. However, what does man’s needs include? Is it only food, water, and shelter? Does filling a man’s stomach while starving his soul provide any lasting good? Is it valuable to contribute funds to a group that would poison that soul?

Each of these considerations is important, beyond the question of how much to give. The truth is that Christians are to be charitable, giving people. However, what we give to our fellow man should extend beyond the physical and include the spiritual. Giving to proxy organizations will likely not meet both of those needs. Will it really do “the most good”?

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