What Is Benevolence?
Benevolence, as outlined in Scripture, is the predisposition to do what is good for other people. There is not a specific imperative as to how this is to be accomplished, only that the act is designed to be for good will and that there be kindly intent.
Unfortunately, benevolence is most often associated and measured by the amount of money given to someone. While there is frequently a need for monetary help, quite often money is only a part of the greater need.
At Calvary Chapel Whitefish we are committed to obeying the scriptural mandate of addressing the needs within our body.
Our position at Calvary Chapel Whitefish is that each individual is commanded to meet the needs of the poor and needy within the Body of Christ and the local church.
In Deuteronomy we are so instructed: For the poor will never cease from among the land; therefore I command you, saying, “You shall open your hand wide to your brother, to your poor and your needy, in your land.” (Deuteronomy 15:11)
It is clear the responsibility for the poor lies with us individually. Our role at Calvary Chapel Whitefish is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and equip the saints for the work of the ministry.
By providing a venue for members to exercise the spiritual gifts of mercy and helps, we allow the giver and the receiver to be mutually blessed and help model the dynamics of the Body of Christ spoken of in Romans 12 and Ephesians 4.
This does not mean that as a church we will not help those who are in need. It simply means the primary responsibility rests with the individual and the church will facilitate this process and assist with any additional needs as required.
The person having financial difficulty is ultimately responsible for ensuring their “house is in order.” Each person is responsible to God to be a good steward of the resources entrusted to them. The primary goal should be to ensure they are not a burden to their family, friends, and the church.
The expectation should be for each individual to exhaust all known resources before asking others for help. In keeping with the biblical mandate, a request should be made to family before seeking help from the church.
The individual must understand as a church we are entering into a cooperative venture. Our role will be determined by the circumstance. It is imperative for each person to be willing to rectify their situation without financial assistance from others.
Throughout the process, the person must constantly seek the Lord for wisdom, instruction, guidance and patience to endure the hardship God has allowed during this season of their life, always trusting God will supply all their needs.