Sunday, November 20, 2011

Charity: The Pure Love of Christ

Quote attributed to Plato

"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 bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing."
 "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all... Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth:" (1 Corinthians 13: 1-8)
 "But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him." (Moroni 7:47)

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about the word CHARITY. Not simply in general terms, but what it means in my life. How do I treat others-- those I know, those that are strangers, those who live in my home? Am I dismissing, pre-judging, trampling those I come in contact with? Or do they feel happier and uplifted because I was kind and understanding?

We children of God have the potential to do sooo much good! There is so much negativity, so much criticism in this world. Are we part of the problem, or are we different, because we know and love Christ? Are we building others up, sharing the pure love of Christ; or are we tearing people down, breaking hearts, treading on tender feelings?

Artwork by Greg Olsen
I have learned that CHARITY is not just about giving to the needy, it's not just feeling concern for people, or even about praying for others.

It means treating others like Christ would treat them.

Everyone needs to be loved, understood. Every person is a child of God, and needs to be valued.

And sometimes, all it takes to make people feel the love of Christ is to receive a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, or a hug.

One of my favorite quotes about the worth of souls comes from C.S. Lewis:
It may be possible for each to think too much of his own potential glory hereafter; it is hardly possible for him to think too often or too deeply about that of his neighbour. The load, or weight, or burden of my neighbour's glory should be laid on my back, a load so heavy that only humility can carry it, and the backs of the proud will be broken.
It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare.
All day long we are, to some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics.
There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilisations-- these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit-- immortal horrors or everlasting splendours.

From the LDS Scriptures in Doctrine and Covenants, Section 18, verse 10:
Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God;

Sister Mary N. Cook said this at the last LDS Young Women's Broadcast:
"Benevolent is a lovely word that we don’t hear very often. Its roots are Latin, and it means 'to wish someone well.' To be benevolent is to be kind, well meaning, and charitable... Our Savior taught us about and lived a benevolent life. Jesus loved all and He served all. Centering our lives on Jesus Christ will help us acquire this attribute of benevolence. For us to develop these same Christlike attributes, we must learn about the Savior and 'follow in His ways.'"4
"President Thomas S. Monson taught us how to interact with our peers and everyone we meet when he told the young women of the Church, 'My precious young sisters, I plead with you to have the courage to refrain from judging and criticizing those around you, as well as the courage to make certain everyone is included and feels loved and valued.'"
We do not know the battles that other people are fighting, as we go through life's journey. If we treat others as Christ would treat them, we will not only please our Heavenly Father, but we may bring someone else to Christ.

We can all be a little kinder, more gentle, more benevolent. WE CAN HAVE MORE CHARITY, which is the pure love of Christ.

1 comment:

  1. Love it! I remember reading and underlining that quote from C. S. Lewis last year. It had a profound impact on me and my everyday dealings. I have not mastered the art of Charity yet, for I still judge sometimes and behave in an un-Christlike way. Thank you for the wonderful post.


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