Blessed Are the Handouts

The article on effective giving was very enlightening, motivating, and hopeful. Thank you for offering it!

Ellen Redcay Newark, DE

What I did not see in the article by Professor Wydick was an analysis of the Christian virtue of working. Whether those given handouts work less (at least in the United States) or not, I wonder if it is more scriptural to give someone a job, even a make-work job (like the New Deal–era work programs), so that he can fulfill the biblical command to be fruitful and productive. We are told, after all, there will even be work in heaven, so it seems fitting that Christians should favor work for all here on earth. As we enter an era where more and more people have a marginal product that essentially renders them unemployable for any profit-making enterprise, I wonder if that creates a Christian duty to find ways that those so situated can remain “productive,” thereby not only preserving their dignity but fulfilling their biblical mandate.

There is a huge difference between our parochialism in giving patterns and the parable of the talents. It may seem like an odd comparison, but giving money empowers the recipient in ways gifts that are finite cannot.

Jonathan Thompson

Thanks for your articles challenging readers to be more thoughtful and biblical with regard to charitable giving. However, the articles focused on individuals, both as the givers and receivers. Yet charity is more of a societal matter, particularly with God’s plan for the centrality of churches, functionality of church networks, and priority of apostolic leadership.

Stephen Kemp Ames, IA

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