Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Charity From The Heart & Soul



Today I decided to read my old favorite scripture passage, I Corin 13. I think it is one of the most beautiful passages in the Bible. It opens like a great play or an outstanding opera, a magnificent pronouncement that swiftly reprimands and then immediately elevates. I can't read it without feeling lofty and so uplifted and inspired, with a new desire to feel and exude God's type of love towards self and others.

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I give all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profits me nothing.

Charity suffers long, and is kind; charity envies not; charity vaunts not itself, is not puffed up, does not behave itself unseemly, seeks not her own, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil; rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes in all things, endures all things. Charity never fails: but where there are prophecies, they shall fail; where there are tongues, they shall cease; where there is knowledge, it shall vanish away.

We think of charity as the cutesy little song "Have faith, hope and charity. That's the way you live successfully. How do I know the Bible tells me so, the Bible tells me so!" Then we learn that charity means love. Maybe that is why organizations that help those in need are called charities. How can you reach out and give to others of yourself, your time and your money without having love for the recipients?


The Merriam-Webster online dictionary  shows the well-known meanings of charity:
  • generosity and helpfulness especially toward the needy or suffering,
  • aid given to those in need,
  • benevolent goodwill toward or love of humanity.
The definition shown there that I think is most significant, and upon which the others are able to operate, is this:
  • lenient judgment of others.
In order to reach out and give to others we begin by choosing to think favorably upon their situations, their behaviors and their lives. We develop a considerate and forgiving spirit towards any offenses from them. We choose to believe that no matter who they are, what they are or how they arrived at where they are, they are worthy of our ministrations. They may not have taken our routes in life or think and believe like us, but they are worthy of our charity.

We should do better at remembering ourselves, as well. Often we strive to learn to love others unconditionally, but forget about ourselves. We should remember that true, pure, God-centered love is an outpouring of what is inside and a reflection of how we feel about ourselves. That other well-known saying that most of us have grown up on is charity begins at home.

Our first home is our heart and soul, that inner dwelling from which all thoughts and actions originate. We are worthy of our own charity, first of all. When we work with God to turn charity inwards, what we give will be untainted by unreliable, fleshly origins. It will be pure, true and long-lasting, and overflow and spill over to all in our paths, like rivers of living waters.

If you would like to give to yourself the greatest charity that exists, which is to be sure that you are Saved, say this simple prayer:

Jesus, I believe that you are the Son of God, and the only Savior. Come into my heart, and save me. I was born in sin and you died for me so that I can know God and not be blamed anymore. Thank you for my new life. Show me the way to understand and turn away from bad things. I don't have to fear death anymore, and thank you for Eternal Life. Amen 







Sources:
Bible scriptures: KJV paraphrased (old English endings on words have been dropped)
Word definitions:  Merriam-Webster online dictionary


No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...