Thursday, February 10, 2011

Trying: A. True Charity: D+

So, about charity.


It's not a habit. It's a virtue.


You probably all know that. I'm just kind of figuring that out.


I'm learning to understand that there's a difference between charitable actions and charity as the true love of your fellow human being that comes from a place of compassion and a recognition of their spark of divinity, of that part of God that is in them.


We had a really good lesson on this Sunday. And it's been on my mind a lot. And I realized that I do a lot of good things out of duty, and I can absolutely be counted on, no matter what. And it's good to have a sense of duty. But . . .


That's different than charity. And I'm trying to figure it out. Because I lack. And I see it. And when your eyes are opened to something like that, it's hard to close them again. Dangerous, even.


So that's on my mind.


So I'll be back in a couple of days without any answers, but that's okay. I'll have figured out a game plan. But in a way that I work toward the virtue, not the habit, of charity.


And then I'll tell you about Grant and his adventures in big boy underpants. I should have bought the plain ones. (It's like I have no common sense.)

12 comments:

LisAway said...

Sometimes a lesson has the potential to change your life if you let it. It's all about finding our own "I lack. And [now] I see it." Having our eyes opened. Kind of scary, but with the potential to make us even more awesome (weird that that's possible. And do you like how I always try to get in on your awesomeness by calling it OUR awesomeness? I do. I love it.)

You really are awesome.

Becca said...

I'm so there with you. And I get both sides of this - the action/habit side and the virtue/blessing side. But I take a little comfort in this quote:
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." --Aristotle
And maybe it doesn't really even apply. But it comforts me anyway.

Barbaloot said...

I'm with you on that. There was a distinct point in my life that I remember feeling that charity towards people around me. I was visiting a ward and because of things taking place around me I was all of sudden blessed with the feeling that everyone in the room was someone special. I haven't felt that way since, but I've remembered it and try (sometimes harder than others) to get it back and not be such an impatient jerk.

Carolyn V said...

Oh, I did the habit this week and probably not the virtue side of it. I guess it's all in the attitude. Hmmm. Now you've got me thinking.

Susan said...

I think we all struggle with this. Well, most people anyway. I'm really bad. I almost flat out refuse to babysit other people's kids. I will find just about any excuse, depending on the kids. Because some kids I don't mind watching at all. How mean is that?

David said...

Oh man, such a hard thing to do! Its one of those things where we want people to see US that way, but its hard to see them that way! Thanks for the reminder to make it a change of heart, not a change of my schedule.

DeNae said...

I think it's one of the easiest hard things to do. Or the hardest easy thing. Something like that. I have found that I can't ever go with my first thoughts; I almost always have to stop and remind myself that this is someone the Lord loves very much, and it's up to me to figure out why. That's what charity is, anyway. Learning to love the way He loves.

Easy. And really, really hard.

Heidi said...

I'm not claiming to be super charitable or even a little bit . . but I have found that true gratitude and true charity are two sides of the same coin. The times I have felt the most charity was when I was feeling the most grateful.

That Girl said...

I love diving into your thoughts.

Kimberly said...

Moving to a town in the middle of nowhere, with 40 members of the church, half of whom have, ahem, mental issues...has begun opening my eyes in the same way. It really is a process, but how amazing it feels to actually BEGIN that process.

Karen Peterson said...

I understand what you mean. There are a lot of perfectly good things that I do because I'm supposed to. It's the doing so cheerfully and because I want to that needs some work.

Charlotte said...

Sometimes I meet women who just have this charity emulating from them. They always humble me and help me to remember how far I have left to go.