De' fliengde Vuogtlänn'r

Observations, rants, etc. from a guy who really gets around.


True Charity

For about the last year and a half, I've thought from time to time on the subject of charity. For the record, I'll stipulate that there's a difference between Charity and "charity" -- the former being helpful; the latter being largely destructive (at least in the long run).

Paul tells us that Charity "never fails" (i.e. never ceases). Experience has shown us that "charity" usually does fail, leastwise in the long run. There's an old saying: Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day; teach a man to fish and he can eat every day. The problem is getting from one day to every day.

True Charity helps a person fulfill his divine destiny. "Charity" keeps people from that goal. Oddly enough, we sometimes confuse the two. We seem to think that Charity consists only of teaching people to fish, possibly because we've seen the destructive, corrosive effects of simply feeding people without teaching them to feed themselves. Some people think that once they've taught a guy to fish, he's on his own and no longer a worry. They've "fulfilled a higher law" and the "lesser law" is irrelevant. But this flies in the face of what Scripture tells us (James 2:15-16 comes to mind).

When the crowd followed the Savior out into the wilderness and He preached to them, some of the disciples pointed out after a while that the people had no food. And what did He do at that point?

He fed them.

Did He lecture them about personal preparedness? No.

Did He chastise them for not having brought food with them? No.

Did He tell them that it was just a short walk back into town and they'd make it easily? No.

He fed them.

Never confuse the important with the immediate. Yes, it was -- and still is -- extremely important for people to be prepared and self-reliant. But it's rarely an immediate need; and, as important as it is, it doesn't happen overnight. While we're teaching people all these high-minded principles, we need to make sure that they eat. Spiritual food has no physical nutrition.


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