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What Does the Bible Say about Charity?

When the word charity shows up in the Bible, it can mean one of two things.

First, it can mean love. Some versions of the love chapter in 1 Corinthians (Chapter 13) use charity instead of love. For example, the King James Version says, "And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity."

Second, charity in Scripture can refer to the act of giving to others — which is, after all, an act of love.

Scripture Seems Clear on What We Should Do

The New Testament is full of examples and exhortations for Christians to give to others. Jesus was all about caring for and feeding the people that followed him, and one of the first acts of the early church was to set up provisions for widows and orphans.

Jesus even puts it like this: When we give to others, it's like we're giving to him. "I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger, and you took me into your home." (Matthew 25:35)

And charitable giving seems to be something Christians can all agree upon, even when they are standing on opposites sides when it comes to other matters of doctrine. This has been true since the beginning of the church.

In Galatians, Paul recounts disagreements over whether someone should be circumcised or whether believers who had been Jews should eat with believers who are Gentiles. Paul tells the story of going to Jerusalem and meeting with men like Peter. There were disagreements, but it was settled that Paul would preach to the Gentiles while others brought the message to those who were circumcised. "They asked only that we would remember the poor," says Paul in Galatians 2:10, "which was certainly something I was willing to do."

Bethesda Senior Living Communities' Role in Charity

Bethesda Senior Living Communities is a not-for-profit, faith-based organization with a commitment to giving back. We work with several ministries to do so, and we're proud to say that many of our individual communities foster charitable efforts in their own towns.

How Can Seniors Give Back?

We're also so proud to serve communities of seniors who demonstrate charitable love. Many of the seniors in our communities have spent their lives working for and with others, giving their time and resources to help people locally and across the world. And they still give back today.

Here are just a few ways seniors can demonstrate charity.

Giving of their time, whether that's taking a few minutes to comfort an assisted living community neighbor in need or volunteering at local churches, libraries, schools or rescue missions

Giving of their resources through small donations to favorite charities, tithing to churches or donating items to shelters or other efforts

Giving of their skills and knowledge by offering to teach classes or Sunday school or teaching grandchildren or other individuals special skills