Jesus said there will always be poor people among us and we are to help them. The best type of help is one that encourages a person to best utilize their own ability and resources.
Even back in the Old Testament farmers were instructed to leave behind stray crops so the poor could gather them. This practice enabled the poor to take initiative to work and gather those crops.
Today there are still poor among us. There are people who are disabled and cannot work while others who are able will not work. God is the only One who truly knows the hearts of poor people. However God has allowed certain warning signs to alert us when our helps can be better used someplace else.
There are ones who play on the sympathy of caring people. They will sometimes say to us that since we are a caring person we should certainly understand why we should give them money. Others will say that they were blessed by someone else who sent them a check giving the hint that we should do the same. There are times we give them money and watch while they go purchase liquor or smoking products then still ask for more money. The best help to give these people is to direct their path to a way they can earn their own money.
There is a big difference in a hand out and a hand up. A person who is genuinely poor and is able to work will be willing to gather the crops left behind by the farmers. Offering a means for a poor person to do for himself is a hand up. God will reveal in a definite way the best use of money helps that will benefit a person or organization.
Leviticus 19:9-10 Living Bible
When you harvest your crops, don’t reap the corners of your fields, and don’t pick up stray grains of wheat from the ground. It is the same with your grape crop—don’t strip every last piece of fruit from the vines, and don’t pick up the grapes that fall to the ground. Leave them for the poor and for those traveling through, for I am Jehovah your God.