There has been such a dramatic shifting that has occurred in the last few years. The shift has even been pointed out in the media by declaring this generation as one of the most self-centered. Beginning with the 1980’s, the slide down the slippery slope of me, myself and I has led us into one of the greatest seasons of recession since the 1930’s.
Recently, in one of my classes we discussed some of the economic implications of inflation. In that class we discussed how at a certain point of economic slowdown some countries look outside of their own for opportunities. Such has been the case with nations like China which continues to be a growing super power both from a military and economic standpoint. This was highlighted for me even the more when my teacher referenced Jesus’s statement that, “The poor you’ll have with you always (Matthew 26:11, John 12:8.)
From an individual perspective, this revelation holds true. Regardless of how high or low you may find yourself in life, there is always someone less fortunate than you. God admonishes us to reach out and down. John the Apostle says in 1st John 3:17, “whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?” There is an expectation that we are always to help others.
- Give: There were times when even Peter and John did not have the customary alms to give to the beggars on the street (Acts 3:1-10.) Yet that still did not deter them from having the compassion to help. They told one man, “look on us.” What the man wanted would have only been a temporary fix. What he received was far greater than even he imagined was possible. When we look with a heart of compassion, we can find solutions to situations that others have, that often go beyond what is sought or is normal in their life. Finding ways to give is a way to reveal the heart ad love God has for all of His creation.
- Mentor: Teaching and mentoring is a way to pass on knowledge, skills and experience you have, that someone else may desire. It is also a way in which you solidify what you know. It is said that the best way to show that you understand a thing is by being able to explain it to someone else. This is what mentorship is all about. It may cost you time and patience, but the rewards are far greater than the cost to you. What it does in the life of the one you mentor is invaluable.
- Volunteer: To make an offering of yourself is the definition of volunteering. It is selfless and sacrificial. This is what Christ did for us all when he went to the cross. Of his own will he went. His suffering was for our liberty, our freedom. When you volunteer, you avail yourself to all possibilities.
If I had never learned the lessons of giving of my available resources, I would never have known the pleasure in seeing the face of someone who either did not expect it or knew they’d never be able to return in kind what they had received. If I never knew the joys in mentoring and tutoring as a youth, I would not have known the joy in reaching others with the gospel of Jesus Christ. If I never knew the weight of volunteering, I wouldn’t know the strength of character that is developed within.
When we get back to a heart of charity it grows us in ways that we previously were unable to attain to. We lift up the fallen, the downtrodden, the afflicted, and the needy. Giving, mentoring, and volunteering stretches us, expands us, and strengthens us. It builds and equips us to go to a higher and greater level.
Miracles don’t have to always be big from your perspective. What seems like a small thing to you is often world changing and life altering to another. Begin in simple things. As you grow and expand, your capacity to bless others through charity will also grow and expand.
QUESTION: What can you do to grow in charity?
- Effective Leaders are Mentors (gregorypratt.net)
- Why Your Church Should Raise Up Mentors – Part 2 (missionallendale.wordpress.com)
- Willow Creek Leadership Summit 2012 – Reflections (Part 3) (markconner.typepad.com)
- Community champions lend support to cash-strapped services (guardian.co.uk)
- The Charity Challenge (mylifehasapurpose.wordpress.com)
- Growing – And Blessing Others (trinityspeaks.wordpress.com)
- Why Charity is is important (harikrishnamurthy.wordpress.com)
- The Rich Ruler (lifereference.wordpress.com)
- Rise up and do something! (livingmoreabundantly.wordpress.com)