Is helping others an integral part of your Christian walk? If you’re following the footsteps of Jesus, it should be. Here’s why getting proactive in your faith and reaching out is crucial, plus 39 inspirational bible verses about helping others.
Jesus constantly helped others
As followers of Christ, our mission is to represent Jesus in this world based on 1 John 2:6, “Whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.”
And what was Jesus always about? Helping others. Reaching out in tangible ways. Everywhere He went, Jesus was helping.
The church is called to be sanctified in Christ. This means we are holy, set apart, different than the world. In doing this, we ask, “What would Jesus do?”
If we represent his name, we must do what He did, walk as He walked. As Henry Drummond says, “Have you ever noticed how much of Christ’s life was spent in doing kind things?”
What does God say about helping others?
Since disciples of Christ are known by His name, helping others should be the thing we are known for as Christians.
Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35).
The early Church illustrated this, ensuring that each person’s needs were met. Where the first recorded church met, we find helping hands.
“Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common… There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need” (Acts 4:32-35).
What does God say about helping the needy?
Jesus emphasizes the importance of helping others directly after he gives the Great Commandment. A lawyer sought to question Jesus concerning the way to receive salvation, and his response is our life’s goal:
“And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live” (Luke 10:7-8)
If we choose to love our neighbors as ourselves, we will help them! When I love God, I cannot help but reach out to others.
The lawyer’s response sought to explain away Jesus’ answer:
“But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” (Luke 10:9)
Jesus then delivered one of his most iconic parables — the Good Samaritan. Samaritans hated Jews and Jews hated Samaritans. A Jew is beaten and left for dead. When a priest and a Levite pass by, they do not help their own kinsman in desperate need.
The third man (a Samaritan and natural born enemy of the Jewish man) immediately stops and cares for him, attending his wounds, and putting him up in a local inn.
Jesus asked the lawyer:
“Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise” (Luke 10:36-37).
If more people are “Good Samaritans,” can you imagine the help people will receive? It starts with me, and it starts with you. We will either be the Good Samaritan, or we will be the lawyer before He sat at Jesus’ feet.
I wonder if he went on from there and helped the next person he had the opportunity to help?
What does the bible say about helping others that don’t help themselves?
The Jew, beaten and left for dead, was not able to help himself and was in need of desperate help. When the lawyer in Luke 10 is faced with helping his neighbor, he “sought to justify himself,” explaining away his need to help.
We must examine our hearts to make sure we are not asking this question in order to “justify ourselves” and get out of helping others. As long as this is not the case, there is validity to this question.
One example of this is the Prodigal Son in Luke 15. The faithful son stayed home to work the farm, while the youngest son asked his father for his inheritance (before his father’s death) and he went off into a far land and
squandered it all. This is a situation where someone helped themselves to a wild lifestyle and hurt themselves in the process.
Do we help this kind of person? He helped himself to His father’s wealth, but later, he also attempted to help himself out of the hole he dug.
Willingness to work is a great indication that someone is seeking to help themselves.
“So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything” (Luke 15:15-16).
The prodigal son hit rock bottom (well, mud bottom). Seemingly, he came out of his selfishness, and perhaps due to desperation, sought work.
The apostle Paul also addressed this issue to the church at Thessalonica and Ephesus. “For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10).
“Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need” (Ephesians 4:28).
So, we see that if someone is unwilling to provide for themselves and their family, a handout may be enabling that person to continue destructive behavior. However, if someone is willing to work but still needs a helping hand, we should not hesitate to give it.
Do we expect people to help themselves so much that they no longer need our help? We will miss the opportunity to impact others if we do.
39 Bible verses about helping others
Now, here are the 39 best bible verses on helping others to inspire you. They are divided into 3 categories: giving, compassion, and helping poor/orphans.
Bible verses about giving to others
Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. – Hebrews 13:16
Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you. – Luke 6:38
In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ – Acts 20:35
Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you. – Matthew 5:42
As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life. – 1 Timothy 6:17-19
For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. – Mark 10:45
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace… – 1 Peter 4:10
Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. – Romans 12:13
And the crowds asked him, “What then shall we do?” And he answered them, “Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.” – Luke 3:10-11
Whoever gives to the poor will not want, but he who hides his eyes will get many a curse. – Proverbs 28:27
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. – Ephesians 2:10
If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. – Isaiah 58:10-11
There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. – Acts 4:35
Bible verses about compassion for others
Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. – Philippians 2:4
Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. – Galatians 6:2
We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. – Romans 15:1
Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it. – Proverbs 3:27
Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. – John 15:13
Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered. – Proverbs 11:25
If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. – Isaiah 58:10
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. – Galatians 6:9
The greatest among you shall be your servant. – Matthew 23:11
Bible verses about helping the poor and orphans
Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed. – Proverbs 19:17
But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? – 1 John 3:17
Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor will himself call out and not be answered. – Proverbs 21:13
Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” – Matthew 19:21
Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed, for he shares his bread with the poor. – Proverbs 22:9
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. – James 1:27
For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ – Matthew 25:35-40
Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh? – Isaiah 58:6-7
When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, neither shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. And you shall not strip your vineyard bare, neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the Lord your God. – Leviticus 19:9-10
What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. – James 2:14-17
For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’ – Deuteronomy 15:11
Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. – Luke 12:33-34
Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him. – Proverbs 14:31
Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause. – Isaiah 1:17
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich. – 2 Corinthians 8:9
Whoever despises his neighbor is a sinner, but blessed is he who is generous to the poor. – Proverbs 14:21
Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy. – Proverbs 31:9
I hope you enjoyed these bible verses about helping others. Can you remember a time when you helped someone less fortunate and it blessed you? I would love to hear your story in the comments.