Charity ? Give To Receive!

We all know the truism that "charity begins at home." Does it? And what is charity about, anyway? Is it just a square on a Monopoly game to you or is it a regular practice of giving from your abundance to those in need?

My American Heritage dictionary has 5 definitions of charity. The first two are about giving to the poor. The third is "an act or feeling of benevolence." The fourth is "forbearance in judging others." The last has two parts: "the benevolence of God toward man" and "the love of man for his fellow men."

I think they have them backwards. Don't you?

Wouldn't it be the love of God and our love for our fellow humans that comes first and inspires all of the others? How could we have any of the others at all without these two? God's love for us is the role model. We learn from God's unconditional love to give that same love to others.

Only when we remember how richly we have received from Spirit can we have any feeling of benevolence, right? And from that feeling of benevolence or charity, don't we often take action? We give. That giving is not necessarily to those who are poor in the realm of material things. It can also be giving to those who are feeling in poor health or who are somehow feeling spiritually impoverished.

We may not think we have enough for ourselves and so we are reluctant to give to charity or act from the feeling of charity in our hearts. Is that true? No. Almost everyone has something they can spare.

Mother Teresa has been quoted as saying that Americans think there is poverty in India, but India does not have the kind of poverty we have in America. She said that in India, if a poor person had only one banana, they would give half their banana to another starving person. But in the US we have many bananas and we won't even give one away.

Why don't we take a really close look at what we have and what we can spare? Then we can find the charity in our hearts and give half of our banana to those who have no banana at all. Look around you closely. It could be your husband or your daughter or maybe your next-door neighbor who needs your gift of charity and love. Charity does begin at home.

About the author

Ashley Mettaroy is a ministerial student and social activist. She wants to help the world by equalizing the use of vital resources, so that everyone has enough. You can read more articles about charity at Charity Free

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