Friday, November 11, 2011

Charity: Christ's Love

1 Corinthians 13:4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up

1 Corinthians 13:8 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.

1 Corinthians 13:13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

Moroni 7:46 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...

What makes charity, the pure love of Christ, so powerful that even when all other things fail or pass away, it remains? How can it be greater than faith and hope?

Charity is the driving force behind everything that Christ has done and continues to do for us. It is far beyond a simple human love- it is an all-encompassing love full of compassion, patience, kindness, mercy, and humility. It is the kind of love that can only come through sacrifice. The greater the sacrifice, the greater the charity. Jesus Christ's love for us came through His willingness to not only serve during His mortal life and sacrifice His time, energy, and power, but I think His love was perfected when He sacrificed His life for us. Had He died for just a few people, He still would have had charity, but I think that the immensity of His final sacrifice somehow perfected and completed the potential of His love.

Thus, Christ's love, known as charity, became a force that could not be restrained. We don't rely on faith and hope alone to become Christ's. It does no good to believe in Christ and have a hope of eternal life if we aren't filled with charity. True charity is what produces acceptable works. And faith without works is dead.

Charity seems to be directly related to the sacrifices we are willing to make. That's why Christ's love is larger and more powerful than anything we can ever conceive of. And if I want even a portion of the charity that I'm supposed to have, then I'm going to have to sacrifice also. I probably won't be asked to give my life for anyone, but there will be plenty of opportunities to serve and help others. And if I want a greater portion of Christ's love, then I need to be willing to sacrifice for others. The amount of charity that I will be granted will be directly related to the sacrifices I make. Every time I do something for someone else, charity will grow within me.

Even if all else in this world fails, charity will live on. The pure love of Christ is a power that fills the immensity of time and space. Jesus was the perfect example of how loving others helps you to sacrifice for them, and how sacrificing for others helps you to love them. It's all intertwined, and when we get a glimpse of what charity really is and what it can do, we are empowered to reach out and touch the lives of others. We get to experience in some small way the love that Christ has for each of us, and that glimpse can give us the faith and hope to keep going.


Mama D said...

"It does no good to believe in Christ and have a hope of eternal life if we aren't filled with charity. True charity is what produces acceptable works. And faith without works is dead."

I love how you so clearly tied faith, hope, and charity together. They are linked yet also progressive (building on each other). Amazing post!

Papa D said...

Thanks for this, Patty. I love the way you've linked everything together.