Sunday, January 2, 2011
Charity Never Faileth
The older I get, the more compassionate I become and for some it seems to be the opposite. Some become harsher in their requirements of others because they relish in their own accomplishments without acknowledging the law of circumstance. Having a good life free from trial is often offered as one who is blessed above another and when we are blessed, we gather it around us like a blanket of arrogance that God is somehow smiling on our righteousness. This in itself is spiritual egoism and blatantly false. While we do receive blessings for acts of righteousness, more often than not they come in spite of ourselves rather than as a result of our actions. As a religious person I do at times feel that our culture participates in a "blessings" competition and we look down our noses at the less fortunate. Flowery words of gratitude dawn the stepford lives of the gifted spiritual elite. It does make me laugh.
Sometimes life's lessons come inside little packages of adversity and for those gifts, I suppose we should all be tired and thankful. But for some it seems as though they are married to their own power and convoluted indignation's to the point of shunning the weak and often afflicted. So much so, that they forget the spirit behind the commandments and the laws of nature. It seems that even though the "right" is by far the most charitable group among politico's as far as money is concerned, they do lack the spirit in which the over-used boot strap metaphor defines their philosophy. Democrats judge too little, give too little and only profess compassion and kindness. They go out of their way to raise themselves above others for having assigned themselves to advocacy. This is called having a hero complex. How often does anyone from any party or religious organization give true charitable service and advocacy without raising themselves over the recipient? Hardly ever. Charity the way Christ meant it was to be given as an equal, not as someone who CAN serve because of better circumstances, but as one human to another. One of God's children to another one of God's children. Last I checked Christ didn't ask the leper if he paid a full tithe before he healed him. Christ offered his talents free and clear and so he does with us, but how soon we forget when offering our time, talents and gold. It is offered conditionally and judgmentally with trumpets blowing because we are indeed the giver and not the bewildered receiver. It is offered as one blessed over and above someone not nearly as worthy. God does not measure us based on economic status, nor does he offer his blessings only to the extremely righteous who follow his commandments with utter precision. God offers his blessings to those who would repent and call upon his name and who doesn't need to do that?
Sometimes our good works overshadow the grace offered to all of us. After all, aren't we all beggars? I suppose my point is that at times I feel like there is a lot of compassion missing from the republican party who profess to be the Christian "right".
Society can only benefit from true charity to our fellow human beings. Quiet acts of service without back patting and trumpet blowing would take our communities to new heights. I hate hearing how people feel better about their own problems once they hear how someone else's problems are far worse. I cringe. This type of elevation is of what I speak. My husband lost his job, but at least he didn't cheat on me. Like robots we sometimes offer our service with the arrogance that we can. Becoming heroes among the down-trodden. We forget the charity. Charity is the pure love of Christ, and he descended below us all. Who are we to offer ourselves as those who are above the fray of those suffering life's difficulties.
We need to be more compassionate and less judgmental not only to those who may have lost their way, but to those who have forgotten who they are. We are all born as children of a divine being who are now broken by the adversities of this life. As we travel to reunite that child with the person they were before earthly sorrows changed them, we must be patient, loving and not elevated over each others individual journeys. We have all been there and are searching for that child of God within us.
Who were you before your family was broken or abuse destroyed your spirit? You were once a pure and loved child of a loving God who put you here to learn to love unconditionally through the darkness. God will remind us of our worth, but for some it will come much later, and for them we must see them as they were and could be and not who they have become. So often it is life that has clouded the memory of our true identities.
We as a people regardless of political philosophy need to learn to become more charitable and by charity I don't mean donating funds. I mean a softer and gentler friend to those around us.
Sometimes I sit in church and wonder if the compartmentalized conditions of loving someone is so often clouded by the infractions committed and not by who we really were and are. Children of a truly Heavenly Father who knew us before our life experiences left us broken, he can bring us back to who we once were. All of us.
Conservatives are a harsh bunch, and while we teach a man to fish and to be self-sufficient, let's not forget that sometimes they need to be fed first and foremost. There will always be those who need. While the government should be the last resort, at certain economic times and not, our judgments should remain silent and bridled. We may all soon find ourselves in need of unrequited charity and our dignity is all we have. We need to treat each other in a more dignified manner and less as charity cases. Charity shouldn't ever be negative. Charity can be offered to the rich, the poor and to the undeserved. So many deem charity defiled when offered as welfare handouts, how so? Charity is pure. Charity is no questions asked and I have come to realize that sometimes this needs to be. While there will be those who take advantage, charity will always survive in spite of the natural weakness to take without need. This should not stifle the respite need for society to take care of its own because a few abuse. Offer it in spite of the leeches. It is right.
Charity is compassion and empathy for the feeble soul. Feebled souls are found in all socio-economic status's and I ask, can we love more purely? Yes, I think we can.
May we all be more charitable this new year. Let's thank God for our blessings in spite of our weaknesses and natural tendencies. For he truly is the author of our salvation and not ourselves.