Acton Institute Powerblog

On #GivingTuesday, avoid benevolent harm

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Now that the giving season is upon us we should ask, says Andrew Vanderput in this week’s Acton Commentary, “How can one’s charity actually undermine the causes or people they mean to champion?”

When charity is defined as “willing the good of the other,” it ought to necessitate that more reflection and thought be given towards the practical effects of one’s charitable acts. To will the good of the other goes far beyond a sugar high feeling after a donate button is pressed, with no thought given to whether that donation truly empowers someone. Caritas goes beyond a check-list mentality of doing an obligatory “good deed for the day.” No, true charity, true love seeks to affirm the dignity of people, enables them to utilize their God-given talents, and equips people to stand on their own two feet.

The full text of the essay can be found here.

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Joe Carter Joe Carter is a Senior Editor at the Acton Institute. Joe also serves as an editor at the The Gospel Coalition, a communications specialist for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and as an adjunct professor of journalism at Patrick Henry College. He is the editor of the NIV Lifehacks Bible and co-author of How to Argue like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History's Greatest Communicator (Crossway).

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