Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Charity Project - 2

I really need to be careful what I pray for.

Last week I made a goal to find two opportunities to serve outside of my home.  The first one came when a sweet friend was hit, head on, by a drunk driver Tuesday night.  I was able to visit with her in the hospital, and offer some help to the family.

Then, another friend fell and broke five ribs.  I was able to visit her in a different hospital.

I thought I'd pray for more opportunities to serve outside my home this week- but I think I'll hold off on that goal and go for something different!

As I've been studying, pondering and learning about charity this week, I came to two realizations.

1. Charity is a gift. It can only be obtained if it is given to us by Heavenly Father.

2. Charity is the only value that cannot be directly obtained. Meaning- if you want to become patient, you practice being patient. If you want to be kind, you practice being kind. If you want to be giving, you practice giving, etc, etc.  But, you cannot say, "I want to have charity" and practice having charity. You either have it or you don't.  BUT- the way to get it is by practicing all the other valued that are associated with it.  As you practice patience, kindness, understanding, love, etc you will be rewarded with those values, plus Heavenly Father will endow you with charity. That's why the only scripture I could find that talks about charity says that it comes from a pure heart.

Last week I looked up scriptures about charity. Today I looked up some quotes, and these are some that I found.

"Real charity is not something you give away; it is something that you acquire and make a part of yourself...." Marvin J. Ashton

"Perhaps the greatest charity comes when we are kind to each other, when we don't judge or categorize someone else, when we simply give each other the benefit of the doubt or remain quiet. Charity is accepting someone's differences, weaknesses, and shortcomings; having patience with someone who has let us down; or resisting the impulse to become offended when someone doesn't handle something the way we might have hoped. Charity is refusing to take advantage of another's weakness and being willing to forgive someone who has hurt us. Charity is expecting the best of each other"  Marvin J. Ashton

“Our words, like our deeds, should be filled with faith and hope and charity, the three great Christian imperatives so desperately needed in the world today. With such words, spoken under the influence of the Spirit, tears can be dried, hearts can be healed, lives can be elevated, hope can return, confidence can prevail. … May we all rejoice in the thought that when we say edifying, encouraging things unto the least of these, our brethren and sisters and little ones, we say it unto God.” Jeffrey R. Holland

“Love is one of the chief characteristics of Deity, and ought to be manifested by those who aspire to be the sons of God. A man filled with the love of God, is not content with blessing his family alone, but ranges through the whole world, anxious to bless the whole human race.”  Joseph Smith

“Too often, charity is extended to another when his actions or conduct are acceptable to us. The exhibition of charity to another must not be dependent on his performance. It should be given because of who we are—not because of how we behave.” H. Burke Peterson

“Never assume that you can make it alone. You need the help of the Lord. Never hesitate to get on your knees in some private place and speak with Him.”  Gordon B. Hinckley

"Hope is one leg of a three-legged stool, together with faith and charity. These three stabilize our lives regardless of the rough or uneven surfaces we might encounter at the time... Hope in our Heavenly Father's merciful plan of happiness leads to peace, mercy, rejoicing, and gladness. The hope of salvation is like a protective helmet; it is the foundation of our faith and an anchor to our souls."
--Dieter F. Uchtdorf

I love the one below:

"The things we hope for lead us to faith, while the things we hope in lead us to charity. The three qualities faith, hope, and charity working together, grounded on the truth and light of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, lead us to abound in good works."
--Dieter F. Uchtdorf

The things we hope FOR lead us to faith, while the things we hope IN lead us to charity.

What exactly does that mean?

The way I see it- the things I hope FOR is that Jesus Christ really is my Savior, that God really is my Father in Heaven, that the Holy Ghost really does testify of truth. I hope that my trials will be dedicated to my benefit and that my prayers will be heard.

The things I hope IN are the principles of faith, love, honesty, patience, service, kindness, laughter, goodness, commitment, sacrifice and so on.

The things that I hope FOR cause me to have faith.

The things that I hope IN allow to me be given charity.

Very cool!

So- my goals for this week:

1. Continue to pray specifically for charity.
2. Do something nice for someone I may not be too fond of.
3. Give up one hour for service (to be determined through prayer during the week.)

I will report next week on how it goes (not that anyone reads this blog other than me! But, it helps me to be accountable, even if it is only to myself!)

Hopefully my pursuit of charity won't include any more hospital visits!!

1 comment:

  1. I am reading Michelle. You are an inspiration to us all. Hope your service projects are a little less hospital focused this week and that your friends are getting better. :)