January 4, 2015

True Charity: A Glimpse of Others' Minds

What is charity?

The word “charity” is often associated with organizations that serve people in need. However, I submit that charity is not just giving time, goods, or money to the underprivileged; it’s much deeper than that. According to the Bible, it’s a pure, unconditional love born in the spirit of unrestricted acceptance of others. It defines a love that is not based on behavior. In other words, it is not earned; it is given without condition.

The word “charity”, sometimes translated as “love”, in
Chapter 13 of the Book of 1st Corinthians in the Bible is said to be translated from the Greek word “agape”. This word describes the deepest kind of love: unconditional, completely empathetic love. Agape can be further explained as the act of putting oneself in the place of another person, metaphorically speaking, and treating that person as we would wish to be treated.  

In essence, we trade places with other people (in our minds). We become them.

How do we act when we “switch places” with other people?

I Corinthians 13:4-6 tells us the characteristics of a person who has agape:

kind, patient, long-suffering, humble, pure hearted, even-tempered, acts appropriately at all times, loves truth, and doesn’t think evil thoughts.

Verse 7 (King James Version) further states that charity “Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.”

How Important is Charity?

It is the most important personality characteristic.

I Corinthians 13: 13 states that charity is greater than faith and hope. 

It is the most important gift, or talent.

I Corinthians 13:1-3 clarifies that charity is more important than the following gifts: speaking in tongues, prophecy, knowledge, comprehending mysteries, and caring for the poor and needy.

My Conclusion

Christlike love will transform our personalities. We will want to always act in love and treat people right because we will be able to feel complete empathy for other individuals. No amount of worldly success and spiritual gifts are going to make up for a lack of this empathetic, unconditional love. 

I Corinthians 13:1 declares that individuals without charity are “as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.”  I don’t want to be as empty as instruments that don’t always play the melody, do you? I want to be a person of full importance. I want to lead the song with the melody.

How have you shown charity?

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