To be honest I myself find these posts on giving to the needy challenging. I have had some training to explain the bible. Yet putting things into practice is more than explaining theories.
More than twenty years ago I spent some time in India. With my own eyes I could see obvious poverty.
I can recall crippled beggars on a railway station. They just waited for a train to stop and passengers to come out. They raised their hands in the hope to receive a coin. I can recall having seen a man without legs rolling along on a brand of skate-board. He could not do anything but begging.
In the place where I was staying I used to go on the top of a big hall in the mornings. From there I could observe what was happening on the street nearby. I could see some poor people searching the litter boxes in front of buildings. They may have been looking for something edible.
The Christian mission where I was staying did not have a feed the poor program as such. So I could not partake in helping the needy.
I also did see some rather primitive housing. Or shall I rather call it slums?
The most discouraging fact was, there were so many poor people. If you would go at length to help one or two of them, so many others would remain in degrading poverty.
At one time I was preaching in a Christian meeting about a passage in the epistle of St. James on how to deal with poor people in the church. After that somebody came to me and told me if I were going to this or that meeting in some particular place, I would really have a chance to meet poor people.
For our safety’s sake, we Westerners were not encouraged to make trips on our own. So I did not do anything about this challenge.
I had been preaching nice Christian theory. Yet I did not really know what things would be like in reality.
It would have been difficult for me to interact with poor people in India. Most probably they would not know sufficient English. The two or three Tamil words I had learned for fun would not help much. At times when preaching I was given a translator. Yet I did not usually have a translator for unplanned hap-hazard contacts.
I did get some idea of what poverty must be like. Yet to be honest I did not really do much to help the poor.
Now Paul is writing about giving to the poor and about the need for love. You might say love was more important than giving. Yet is it a loving attitude not to care about the needy?
“If I gave all I possess to the poor… but have not love, I gain nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:3/NIV).