Charity and Love In The Bible
Today, many associate the word charity to giving to unfortunate or hurting people. These people envision poor folks standing in front of their burned home or holding bags of possessions after a hurricane has destroyed their homes. Others think of the homeless sheltering down in a cardboard box. But charity simply means loving others in Christ's name, reaching out a hand of helping to those who cannot help themselves. Some people look at this type of giving as a negative thing, thinking that receiving something from a charity organization is like getting a handout. It makes some people feel low and inferior. Sometimes groups that try to help the helpless get snubbed by stubborn people who think they don't need assistance. This attitude can bring out pride in someone because of a refusal to accept help from others. Most groups are looking for volunteers who will serve with a gracious and non-condescending attitude. This can make such a big difference to those who benefit from their services. Click this link to test your knowledge on charity with our Charity Bible Quiz.
It's never easy to accept help from others, but it's essential for survival at times. For the person affected by natural disasters who has lost everything he owns, he feels embarrassed about asking for help from charity organizations. It should not be that way. Charity organizations exist to help the average person get back on his feet. These groups do all they can to make sure that people are taken care of, that people have clothes on their backs, food in their bellies, and a roof over their heads. Even the simplest accommodations provided by an organization could speak volumes to those who are in need. On the other hand, many people are thankful for charities. They know that most volunteer time and money because they really do care about helping others. These types of groups have a lot of love to give to those in need and often provide it through receiving donations to the organization and through time volunteered. That's how many Christians show Christ's love to strangers. The donations a person makes either through auctions or by giving time to nonprofit groups make a world of difference. We show love and support to others when we give freely. For more about other topics like charity, stewardship and giving visit our Bible resources.
How can a person extend his giving? The next time he cleans out a closet and considers throwing out those clothes, he could take time to donate the items instead. Those items could help groups in his city to clothe a homeless family or to benefit single moms who are in need of work clothes. Those old power tools can help that father to make those much-needed repairs on his house. Those items the donor doesn't want any longer can benefit so many people in so many ways. The items someone sees as junk can be a true treasure to someone else. If a person finds that he has some time to give and feels good about doing that regularly, he could ask his friends and neighbors to join in on a worthy cause and donate together. When they give their donations to various charity organizations, they are also making a difference in the lives of those who can benefit from the items. Another suggestion is to sell these items at a garage sale, and then donate the money to a worthy cause. That way, people can get something from the yard sale, and the giver can raise money for the cause of his choice.
Do you want to get involved helping various groups but don't know where to start? Talk to someone at church and see if they have a listing of local charities that are reputable. Most churches have various opportunities for someone who wants to volunteer. Anyone can volunteer his time and talents to a homeless shelter or a children's club. The volunteer will have a huge impact when doing this in Christ's love. In addition, giving to others builds a person's own self esteem and gives him a feeling of accomplishing more than he had in the past. What are some other ways to get involved with charity organizations? The giving person can get involved with a local community center or visit lonely elderly residents at convalescent homes. Local churches provide many opportunities for giving. The Internet is a great resource to use to see where you can put your talents to use. Most cities publish a list of groups in the area that could use help. Some ask for help with graffiti removal or to help fix the homes of the elderly. Explore different charities to see where you fit in and feel at home. The Bible tells us, "Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth." Showing love is basic to our Christian faith. Helping others is one of the greatest gifts a Christian can give to someone, so why not make a difference and find a local charity to help out today?
ForgivenessForgiveness has received notable consideration as a method of reaching a state of emotional healing by social psychologist in the last few years, and rightly so, for God initiated the concept from the fall of man; God knew that it would take an attitude of forgiving to live in emotional and spiritual freedom. From Joseph forgiving his brothers in Egypt to the forgiving acts of Christ on the cross, this godly concept has been born of the character of God. Forgiving another for wrongs done has been described has having compassion, a ceasing to feel resentment, or a cancellation of debt owed. And, certainly all three definitions apply to the character of God. We learn early in the book of Genesis that God made man in his own image and we learn from Christ in the New Testament that we are to follow after him, using his life as an example for conducting ours. It's no surprise that modern psychology is finding value in Christian forgiveness, because God has always known human nature and how to mold it closer to His own perfect image.
As soon as sin entered the world, the Lord God had a plan to bring mankind back unto himself; to restore the broken relationship. And, this magnificent plan would be based on a unique attitude and emotion: forgiveness. To demonstrate to the world what atonement and forgiving were all about, God chose the nation of Israel as a people that would walk after him, becoming a light to the surrounding nations. In the book of Leviticus, we see that the Lord initiated the law which included the act of sacrifice as a means of atoning for sin. "And he shall do with the bullock as he did with the bullock of sin offering, so shall he do with this; and the priest shall make an atonement for them, and it shall be forgiven them" (Leviticus 4:20). Several more sacrifices were instructed and the Lord ended most every instruction with the words "It shall be forgiven him". Early in the history of man, God presented the idea that He would send the ultimate sacrifice and that Christian forgiveness would become a powerful definition of God's love.
Christ, the one and only begotten son of God, came, ultimately, to become the sacrificial lamb that would be the last sacrifice for all of mankind. Jesus was the forgiving atonement for all of man's sins. As sin had entered the world through one man, Adam, so mercy entered into the world through one man, Jesus Christ. "In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace" (Ephesians 1:7). Jesus openly forgave sins while he walked on earth, demonstrating that He had the power of God to judge, but choosing to extend Christian forgiveness instead. And, the final act of forgiving compassion of the crucifixion on the cross did not bring an end to the need for human forgiving. Jesus taught that those who followed in his ways would need to continue the excellent tradition of forgiving one another. "And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you" (Ephesians 4:32). For more information on God's love, mercy and grace visit our Bible resources.
Throughout Scripture, there are many verses that emphasize Christian forgiveness. Both Jesus and Paul the Apostle taught that in order to be forgiven, one must be willing to exercise mercy in difficult situations involving others. Paul also explained to readers that forgiveness would follow confession; that mercy is showered upon those who fully recognize their sin and repent. And, of course, confessing sin and having God forgive are by no means legalistic activities. "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage" (Galatians 5:1). Jesus Christ set us free from the law, and so confessing sins is as much of a spiritually healing activity and a recognition of our limited human flesh as it a command. Everything initiated by God for us is always in our own best interest.
Forgiving others for wrongs that they have inflicted upon our lives and comforts is not an easy task. Perhaps this is the reason that the topic of Christian forgiveness is so widespread and well covered in the Bible. Because man nor woman owns a sea of forgetfulness, it seems that we hang on to past wrongs that we have done and that others have done to us. But, we must remember that nailed to the cross is every wrong ever done, past and future. Take time to thoroughly study the topic of forgiving and discover the compassionate, mercy, and payment for sins that Christ offers. The secular psychologist are absolutely correct - forgiving is key to emotional health.