C is for Charity

Back in this post, we talked about our family motto:

CDF: Charity, Determination and Fairness.

We chose this motto, because we really do identify ourselves as the CDF’s and it was easy to remember. The words we selected were very carefully chosen after much discussion as they encompassed so many of the values and the spirit of what we want to stand for as a family. Rob and I decided that we needed to review each concept in detail over the next few FHE’s to remind the kids of these values more in depth.

So, I’ll start with Charity.

Charity is a word that for temporal purposes is often defined as “the concept of giving to worthy causes or needy people”.

While that is part of our “word value”, it is only a small part.

Having a strong faith, in religious terms, Charity is described as “The pure love of Christ”. Leading a Christ centered life is the ultimate goal. This love is the unlimited, loving kindness towards God, others and ourselves. It is the ultimate perfection of the human spirit.

It is all encompassing: compassion, kindness, good will, benevolent giving, caring, generosity, leniency in judgement, friendliness, selflessness, and unconditional love and acceptance.

Charity is voluntary – it comes from within. It is giving donations in work, actions, money, time, words and feelings. It helps the poor, the sick, the grieving, the mourning, and the helpless; anyone in need, but it also is for even those not technically “in need”. It is serving your family, your neighbors, your friends, your community, your enemies; essentially – all mankind – in little ways and big ways. That in turn, is the same as serving your God.

Charity is described by Paul in the First Letter to the Corinthians, Chapter 13, and I think it is summarized beautifully:

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.

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: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

I also read a great poem that I found that sums up Charity as well:

It is silence, when your words would hurt
It is patience when your neighbor’s curt
It is deafness when a scandal flows
It is thoughtfulness for other’s woes
It is promptness when a duty calls
It is courage when misfortune falls.

One of our very first quotes of the week was “Find explanations in charity”…. Whenever we are angry at someone, feel cheated, or don’t understand, we should not be quick to judge, but look to charity. Looking to charity always is the “right thing to do”. But it is not always the “easiest thing to do”.

If we all aim to be more charitable, and feel more charitable, not only would every one around us be happier, but we would be happier as well. Charity leads to happiness.

And that is a glimpse of why C – stands for Charity in our motto. It is something that we need to remind ourselves of daily (if not hourly).

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