And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything. (Luke 15:16 NKJ)
Can we imagine how it would be like if we, out of the goodness of our hearts, helped the prodigal son and provided him with food, lodging and perhaps clothes? Very likely, he would have continued to live his life on charity for a time before he would think of returning to his father.
The Bible teaches us to give as we have purposed in our hearts, not grudgingly or of necessity, for God loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:7). Nevertheless, when we give, we need to verify and know whether our giving is for the right cause or meeting the needs of the people whom the Spirit has placed in our hearts to reach out.
I know of a church that had been regularly giving financial help to an overseas mission ministry. Later, however, that ministry decided to embrace atheism in place of Christianity, and the church discontinued its contribution to redirect its sponsorship to another Christian mission organization. Nevertheless, there are still individual Christian contributors who continued to sponsor the mission organization that turned atheist, unaware of the change. When we give, perhaps, we should consider doing it through the church as it is more in touch of what's happening on the ground.
Lord, we thank You for giving us hearts that desire to meet the needs of others. Yet sometimes, our good intent may do more harm than help another. Lead us, therefore, by Your Spirit to know the right thing we should do when helping others and grant us an attentive heart to hear You and know Your will and direction.