~ A Message of Charity ~
I will ever be fascinated with the Bible. And not simply in the sense of religion. Let’s just say, it’s the book of everything. It makes you think.
And whether or not you are of the Christian faith, upon reading it, you may be surprised to see just how much it is a book of today, as it was, a book of times past. For those who may say the book is ‘outdated’…well, I wonder if they’ve really read it. Or more particularly, considered the ways it applies to life.
It’s a book about humanity. And as for me, that book is eternal.
But to be specific, I sometimes come across a verse that quite literally changes the way I see life. That’s pretty powerful. Because, you know, I’m not a youngin’ anymore. I’m pretty much set in my pattern of thinking at this point. Deduced from decades of experience.
But here, I am to be humbled.
I recently heard a preacher speak the words: Charity never faileth (1 Corinthians 13:8 KJV). I didn’t even catch the context. But apparently, just hearing the words was enough to impact me indefinitely.
For certain, I’ve heard that verse a zillion times before. But this time, I was struck. Struck hard. Charity never faileth. Hmmm….
But let me put this into substance. I am not particularly charitable, at present. I can however, look back at periods when I was, and my heart is moved to recall. Visiting the nursing home on Sundays to sing and deliver homemade cards to very lonely elderly (how about I start weeping right now). Volunteering time with youth with disabilities. Volunteering time with disadvantaged children. And all those other times, I simply gave.
I think back, and let me say. It wasn’t just what I was giving. It was what I was getting back in return. My life was permanently changed by those experiences. And remembering, I am deeply humbled. I am also ashamed to wonder, where has my giving gone?
To point out, charity isn’t just money. It doesn’t have to be money at all. It can just be time. Even some small effort. A little cheer. A bit of lifting up. Just giving to someone else. Caring about someone else. Or even, something else, that makes the world better. Animals, the environment, community buildings in need of repair; of course, the list is endless.
Further to mention, I’ve now lived in an urban environment for two decades. Therefore, I regularly encounter people in need as I go about. And though many instances of privation have spoken to my heart, others have hardened it.
And as this message is an honest one, I will say, I’ve often been wary to give to others, wondering if in some cases, I’m not being tricked, or manipulated. Or if my giving will be misapplied.
But then, that verse.
Charity never faileth. And I realized, in an instant, softening any hard part I’d ever allowed to grow in my heart…
No matter what, if you give, it is never, ever, in vain.
Perhaps some efforts appear they will be a loss. Or, a giving put to poor use. Or, why bother. But that is not so. Charity never faileth.
Each of us knows, in what ways, and when, we can give. Just always remember, it will never be in vain.
Please pass along the message ~ I think it is one worth sharing.