(Proverbs 22:9 KJV) He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed; for he giveth of his bread to the poor.
One of the big differences between the Christian sharing with the poor and modern ideas of welfare are locked in that little word “his”. I don’t know enough Hebrew to know how that word fits into the text but every translation I have except the Contemporary English Version (CEV) uses it.
Why do I say that is a difference? Most of the modern, government sponsored, welfare efforts are a matter of Peter spending Paul’s money to help Peter’s friends. It is a matter of spending other people’s money and getting the credit for it. The Biblical approach is that we are to give from our resources. It gets us involved financially and personally.
So? Personally I am against any government handouts. You can accept that as making a mountain out of a molehill or agree with me. The key is that we are to be giving out of our personal resources to those in our personal sphere. We are to do it with love and concern. We cannot hide behind the knowledge that the government has been there before us.