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Charity: What It Is, Characteristics, How It Is Practiced And Importance

Roberto Isaías explains what charity is and what are its characteristics. Discover how it is practiced and its importance.

What is charity? 

It is experiencing empathy, putting oneself in the other’s place and finding ways to be truly useful, without expecting anything in return.

Charity prompts us to perform loving acts of solidarity and compassion

It is one of the highest and noblest human feelings that can be experienced. 

But it is also one of the most difficult to put into practice every day, because of how distracted we are by our ego.

The Cambridge Dictionary defines charity as:

“help, especially in the form of money, given freely to people who are in need, for example because they are ill, poor, or have no home, and organizations that provide this help”.

What is it according to the bible? 

For many, charity is an action that ends with giving alms.

There is no doubt that every good action of giving to another is meritorious.

But for Christianity, it has a much higher value and should be practiced in a way that goes beyond charity.

For the Christian religion, it is linked to love.

It is the total assumption of responsibility for others and implies a behavior of strict fraternity.


Social charity

It can be defined as a selfless form of service from the collective to society.

It is not a simple willingness to help, but the very essence of giving oneself to one’s neighbor.

What is charity in the family? 

The family is one of the fundamental places where one lives and is educated in love, in charity.

“Spouses, not only receive the love of Christ, becoming a saved community, but they are also called to transmit to their brothers and sisters the same love of Christ, becoming a saving community.”

Pope Benedict XVI

Charity in social work

Social work is a professional discipline focused on the promotion of Social sustainability and Inclusion and the effective intervention in the complex relationships that exist between individuals and their social environments.

In this sense, charity becomes a fundamental principle for the practice of social work.

For it places human sensitivity at the center of its work.

What is the virtue of charity?

For Christianity, the theological virtues are three: faith, hope and charity.

“Charity is the theological virtue by which we love God above all things for his own sake and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God.”

The Catechism of the Catholic Church No. 1822

What is the difference between love and charity? 

Charity from the Latin caritas, (and from the Greek chàris) means benevolence, love.

Not love in the sense derived from the term eros (passionate love).

But in the sense expressed by the Greek term agápē, that is, disinterested and fraternal love. 

Agapē, it is a gratuitous love that dispenses with possession and any kind of retribution.

It is a totally disinterested feeling that carries as its purest principle the gift of self.

How does it arise? 

Charity is something that has its origins in Christianity and, precisely because societies were predominantly Christian, this concept evolved from a social point of view

At first it was declined as aid to the poor, but with the passing of the centuries this aid was opened to everyone

Today, for example, we live in a society where we all need charitable acts. 

What is the basis of charity? 

It is based on love and manifests itself through altruism.

It depends on helping and advocating for the welfare of others, in a disinterested and voluntary way. 

Characteristics of charity 

Among the most important characteristics, we can highlight the following:

  • Charity is a selfless and generous emotion that does not prioritize its own needs or desires.
  • It is founded on respect and always acts with kindness and goodwill.
  • There are no bounds to charity, as it supports noble causes and does not discriminate based on any factors.
  • It also does not hold grudges or seek retribution for any harm that may have been inflicted upon it.
    In short, is a noble and selfless emotion that seeks to help others and do good in the world.

How is it practiced?

It is practiced without limits, without discrimination and to the extent of the possibilities of each person.

There is no manual for its practice, as long as it is carried out following the principles of love and benevolence. 

What are the acts of charity? 

There are many acts in which you can put it into practice, the philanthropist Roberto Isaías, gives us a summary of what he considers the most significant:

  • Share what you have;
  • Give help to people who are in risky situations;
  • Educate and correct with love;
  • Assist those who suffer from illness;
  • Separate what you don’t use and donate it to those in need;
  • Donate a certain amount of money to a philanthropic foundation;
  • Giving thanks (even if it is not “necessary” to do so).

What is doing a charity? 

It is sharing something of true value, which means putting aside our daily comforts and cares.

It is putting the needs of the most disadvantaged people first. 

This makes it a truly difficult virtue to practice, because it implies detachment from the ego

Where does charity apply?

It basically applies to the willingness to help and support the other, the most needy, without expecting a reward.

In this sense, it can arise spontaneously and individually, as well as from a group of organized people.

What are people who do charitable works called? 

When we talk about those who do charitable work, we can distinguish between individuals and organizations.

Organizations are usually of a social, community or religious nature, as well as non-profit.

An example of these is the Nahím Isaías Foundation, which is a charitable association in Ecuador.

Who are the charitable people?

Charitable people are those who act unselfishly in favor of others. 

They carry out solidarity actions, through which they provide support to those in need.

More than a concrete action, they take it as a virtue that they apply to all aspects of life.

What is a philanthropist? 

Sometimes philanthropy is used as a synonym for charity.

Specifically a philanthropist can be defined as:

“Someone who gives money to help people who are poor or sick, or to pay for things such as museums or schools that are good for society”

Cambridge Dictionary

What does it teach us? 

Charity is love and this also means not to make others or ourselves dependent on the need to feel good, but to want the good of others.

Therefore, it teaches us to discern the situations and the way in which it is appropriate to give

Sometimes even a teaching, if given in the right way, can be charity.

Importance of charity

We can consider it as an exercise of moral transformation.

It is important because it invites us to put aside individualism to focus on collective concerns.

Through it, the most vulnerable people receive help and containment, free of charge.

Since poverty has been on the rise in recent years, it is necessary to allude to people’s solidarity. 

UN poverty Charity Roberto Isaías

Why should we be charitable? 

The impact of being charitable on society is irreplaceable. 

“Charity can help foster dialogue between people of different cultures and religions, as well as solidarity and mutual understanding.”



In this article by Roberto Isaias, you have learned about charity, its basis and importance.

From the text we can draw the following conclusions:

  • Charity is one of the noblest human feelings, but more difficult to practice;
  • It is linked to love, but not from the romantic but from the fraternal;
  • Rather, it is a form of brotherly love that encourages individuals to prioritize the well-being of the community over their own self-interest;
  • In Christianity, charity is one of three important theological virtues;
  • It is necessary to learn in which situations and in which form it is convenient to put it into practice