Our Scripture reading today is Proverbs 19:17, "He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again."
Many of the verses of the book Proverbs are filled with stand alone truths and Godly wisdom.  These verses can be lifted out of the chapter and a principle to live by can be found in that one verse.  In my opinion, we can look at this verse and apply it a couple different ways.  The end result is however the same.  
An individual can have all the money in the world and still be poor.  A life lived without Jesus Christ is a poor life.  In this case, to have pity on the poor would be to seek to give them the Gospel at every opportunity.  The more common way of looking at this verse is to have pity on people who are less fortunate.  In either case, to give to the "poor" is not a waste of time or finances.  There is a promise to claim in this verse.  God will give back what we have given.  “God will never be in your debt. He is exact and punctilious in His repayment. No man ever dared to do His bidding in respect to any case of need, and found himself the poorer…Was not Ruth’s love to Naomi well compensated?” (Meyer)