Wednesday, February 24, 2010


In the past few months I've been praying to understand what Charity LOOKED like. I knew that quite often I felt no feelings of love towards those I cared so much about, so what could I do to have charity?? I didn't even realize it, but I wanted to understand what the essential choice was in this virtue I so desired. God did.

While reading C S Lewis' Mere Christianity yesterday I had a major break through.

Starting with "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself," Lewis says, "our love for ourselves does not mean that we like ourselves. It means that we wish our own good." Right. That made sense.

Following that line of reasoning, Lewis explains that "it would be quite wrong to think that the way to become charitable is to sit trying to manufacture affectionate feelings." We must start by wishing them good, then "treat everyone kindly" so that one "finds himself liking more and more people as he goes on."

So I have found that "Christian Love, either towards God or towards man, is [after all really] an affair of the will." And God "will give us the feelings of love if He pleases. We cannot create them for ourselves, and we must not demand them as a right. But the great thing to remember is that, though our feelings come and go, His love for us does not."

Having Charity, then, is not about feelings.

It's about choosing
to wish the best and serve others the best I can.

The feelings of love then
are a gift from God for choosing Charity.

Thank you, Father, for helping me understand.
Knowledge really is freedom and in this case
the freedom to love!!!

I had thought this would be a good post on Facebook. Obviously, I needed more room. ;)


Amy J said...

I also think that charity is an attitude that you develop with much practice. I think we have all known people that they just embody "charity". They don't have to make themselves serve others, they don't have to think about it. It is just a natural instinct, an inherent part of who they are. I think that to get that way, you desire it so much that you act that way, until it becomes second nature. Or as you put it, God changes you. I heard the quote once that "Man can change his actions, but only God can change his nature."

Anonymous said...

You're so right! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Amy!

Amy J said...

"Thoughts lead to acts, acts lead to habits, habits lead to character—and our character will determine our eternal destiny."

Ezra Taft Benson, “Think on Christ,” Ensign, Mar 1989, 2

Stumbled on this today... Thought of this blog discussion. :)

Ranee said...

What a wonderful, little discussion! I really appreciate you sharing this with us, Verena! It's wonderful to me, to think of the love we feel for a person, as a blessing from our Heavenly Father, for our choosing to be submissive to His will. It isn't always the other way around, as we often think it would be. My husband and I have been talking a lot about charity and what it really looks like. It is truly the pure love of Christ. When we love as He loves, it never fails us. :D)