My sweet friend and mentor Pam is back for this week’s edition of Word Nerd Wednesday replacing the myths about charity with truth.
Once again “Word Nerd Wednesday” has both challenged my “word” thought resources. Initially, the word charity drew me in thought as either resistant to receiving or reluctant to give as it might not minister as I had hoped it would. Sometimes a word seems simple and easily used, however, I wonder at such times if it is because we take for granted “understood meaning” instead of “true meaning” and as such fail to communicate a genuine truth. Thank you, Liz! This is a wonderful active challenge! Each time I read or participate in Word Nerd Wednesday I am reminded not to assume too much…but investigate!
“In the beginning God said….” And we have been verbally endowed, linked, and drawn into relationship by our Creator from the beginning, within the context of communication and “charity”… that “charity” is the essence of the character of God, apart from Him it has no foundation because “He is charity” and when we extend “charity” we are like Him.”
Young’s Analytical Concordance to the Bible: “love, agape”
New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance: records 27 references within the New Testament beginning at I Corinthians 8:1 and ending with Revelation 2:19; with 9 references within I Corinthians 13.
The Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words by W.E. Vine states simply.. see LOVE
Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary: King James Version translation of Greek agape. Several translations use “charity” for eleemosune, “pity, alms” See Alms; Love.
Webster’s Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary: Christian love; dearness; love; a kindness or help for the needy; a gift for public benevolent purposes; an institution (as a hospital) founded by such a gift; lenient judgment of others synonym .MERCY
Note: not all references to love in the translations of the New Testament in Greek assign “charity” as the word choice. The Interlinear Greek New Testament follows that form for the 27 references listed above.
I Corinthians 13 is the “flag ship” passage for “Charity” or “Christian Love” or “agape…God’s love in us” The very active, sacrificial “charity” of Christian love.”
I Corinthians 13 would challenge us that our “charity” is insufficient at best if it does not extend beyond words, or deeds, or knowledge (v.1-3) This “CHARITY” IS…. Patient, kind, rejoices with the truth, always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres, never fails… AND IS NOT…. Envious, boastful, proud, rude, insisting on its own way, self-seeking, easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs, does not delight in evil. Charity (with faith and hope) remains, “BUT THE GREATEST OF THESE IS CHARITY!” Or the greatest of these is “LOVE” agape God generated God sized love which is not dependent on our human inclinations or capacity to love.
The combined consensus is that “charity” is active love and an extension of the “charity” of God in and through us today as Galatians 5:22,23 develops the “Fruit of the Spirit” within the believer beginning with “love”…so one cannot escape even James as he admonishes the newest of believers that “faith apart from works is a dead faith and care for widows and orphans is the foundation of “religion” or the exercise of one’s faith.…(James 1:26,27). It is not really possible to isolate “charity” apart from “love” or separate it from benevolence and mercy. It is constantly and profoundly present in the Old Testament as an example and command to the Israelites as their responsible representation of the Creator God to the world around them…true for the believer today as well.
Perhaps the realization that “Charity” is indeed an “action” not just thoughts or feelings contradict our culture. Would drawing yourself and your family into a February challenge to be “Christian love in action as a daily practice of “charity!” be the needed application to bring home the genuine essence of God’s love? Pray and seek ways to demonstrate “charity” in your home, school, church, neighborhood, across the miles- to touch the lives of as many as possible! … Imagine coming back to the heart of “charity” that God is love and when we love we are like Him. He loved us (mankind) so much He demonstrated that love by sending Jesus to redeem and restore His creation to Himself in relationship. Not because humanity was worthy but because of His character of “agape love” “CHARITY!”
A fun side note I had not remembered until now, over 40 years ago my Registered Nurse Training was in a Sisters of Charity Nursing School….and I have never given the word “charity” this much thought. But, from the heart great “charitable institutions, organizations and ministries have been formed over the years by those filled to overflowing with charity, thus called charitable!Charity might not mean what you think it does! #charity #wordnerdwednesday Click To Tweet
Pam Weinzapfel Crumilitary Ministry at Ft. Hood, Texas has for the past three years. I came to know the Lord at 18 years of age personally and profoundly and have since been committed to learning and sharing the Word of God through Bible Study and effective methods of digging into and understanding the Word of God. Understanding war and its impacts on the marriage and family of our soldiers has developed ministry and mentoring to PTSD and wives with secondary PTSD due to a lifelong development of Spiritual growth during our 48 years of marriage post Viet Nam Military service. There is wonderful enjoyment of married children, my six grandchildren and many adopted military families over 10 years of ministry to the military …plus a few hobbies as quilting, reading, as time allows
Linking Up With
For more encouragement please join the discussions on these fabulous blog link ups – Suzanne Eller, Faith On Fire, Susan B. Mead, Faith Filled Friday, Grace and Truth, Faith and Fellowship Friday, Soul Survival, Rah Rah Link Up, Tell His Story, Sitting Among Friends, Testimony Tuesday, Planting Roots, and Fresh Market Friday, Salt and Light, and Becoming Press’s Writer Wednesday.