Biblical Giving: Who Is Our Brother in Need?

Biblical Giving According to God's Word

A foundational principle of God's word is that we find true financial freedom and financial peace through giving to help meet the needs of others.

However, you may have some questions about to whom we should give; who is our "brother"?  Should we only give to Christians and Christian organizations, or should we help non-Christians as well? 


The principles that I have discovered in God's word, encourage me to help care for the needs of all of the following: family, pastors, the Christian community, and the non-Christian community.

Family
The bible clearly says that Christians are to provide for our own families. Unfortunately, many Christians have placed that responsibility into the hands of the government.
"If anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever" (1 Timothy 5:8).


Pastors
In our present American society, although some pastors and evangelists make excessive salaries or raise huge sums of money to support extravegant lifestyles, most pastors live on considerably less than those employed in secular professions.  Based on my understanding of the God's word, we are to financially support our pastors in a way worthy of God.  Some have suggested that pastors should be paid similarly to the average member of their congregations and I would agree that this seems to be a reasonable guide.
"So also the Lord directed those who proclaim the gospel to get their living from the gospel" (1 Corinthians 9:14).

Christian Community

Christians are to provide care for the Christian community.  The bible is very clear concerning churches' responsibility regarding meeting the needs of those within their body who are in genuine need.  In fact, Jesus implied that this type of help from churches should take priority over other things such as building programs, buying new equipment, buying a new bus, purchasing television air time, and so on.  
"Honor widows who are widows indeed" (1 Timothy 5:3).

Non-Christian Community
There are approximately 10 times as many references pertaining to helping non-believers and the community at large as there are that pertain to helping Christians only. We are to be Christ-like examples to non-Christians through our material resources, demonstrating that Christ, not money, rules our lives.  (Matthew 5:42).
"Whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you, he shall not lose his reward" (Matthew 10:42).
"Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others" (Philippians 2:3-4).