Acts of kindness have a genuine impact on the needy, but the intention is what will either build or destroy the people behind them. And that’s why it is important to know why.
God has called us to do his will with joy. If our intention is not out of love for one another, which is how God wants us to show our love for him, then there is no truth in it. This means that even when our acts of kindness build other people, they will do absolutely nothing good to us if the intention isn’t right.
There are a few common motivators for acts of kindness in the world, with pity, guilt and loneliness ranking high among them. But we’re not called to give because we feel bad for what others don’t have. And we are definitely not called to give as a way to boost our character.
We’re called, first and foremost, to love. Giving comes naturally when we love one another. And when we give with joy, out of love, we build each other. Only with God operating in us can we do what is genuinely good: his will.