The Bible’s answer
The Bible encourages giving that is done voluntarily and with the right motive. It shows that such giving benefits not only the recipient but also the giver. (Proverbs 11:25; Luke 6:38) Jesus said: “There is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving.”—Acts 20:35.
When is giving beneficial?
Giving is beneficial when it is done voluntarily. “Let each one do just as he has resolved in his heart,” says the Bible, “not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”—2 Corinthians 9:7, footnote.
Heartfelt giving is part of “the form of religion” that God approves. (James 1:27, footnote) A person who generously helps those in need works hand in hand with God, who views such generosity as a loan made to him. (Proverbs 19:17) The Bible teaches that God himself will repay the giver.—Luke 14:12-14.
When is giving improper?
If it is done with ulterior motives. Examples include:
To impress people.—Matthew 6:2.
To receive something in return.—Luke 14:12-14.
If it supports activities or attitudes that God condemns. For example, it would be wrong to give someone money to gamble or to misuse drugs or alcohol. (1 Corinthians 6:9, 10; 2 Corinthians 7:1) Likewise, it is not proper to give to someone who is able to support himself financially but refuses to do so.—2 Thessalonians 3:10.
If it interferes with a person’s God-given responsibilities. The Bible teaches that family heads must provide for the needs of their household. (1 Timothy 5:8) It would not be right for a family head to give so much to others that he jeopardizes his own household. Similarly, Jesus condemned those who refused to provide for their elderly parents by claiming that all their assets were “a gift dedicated to God.”—Mark 7:9-13.