The Spirit, reveals things to us or teaches things to us, when He is ready; and not before. It’s true, that we could be taught a lot of things; but, we may not be ready ourselves. If we are truly following the Spirit, He does not give us things, that we cannot grasp. We might think we are ready for some of the deeper things of God, and we might be. However, the Spirit is the authority, and it must be in His time.
The word “charity,” means much more than love. I always wondered just why the apostle used this word, instead of the word love. He did talk about love many times; so, why did he use something different in the 13 chapter of I Corinthians. I think sometimes, we assume that God did not know how things would be, further down the road. Even in the New Testament, this God who knows all and created all, could fully see, that we might translate some of the things He wanted to say, differently. And in our time today, it might have a different meaning than what it did when it was actually written.
I learned a long time back, that if you are studying God’s Word, and you have asked the Spirit to teach you, He will. If you have prayed that He open your understanding, and your heart is right before Him, you do not need a degree in the old Greek and Hebrew languages. If you study in English, He’ll teach you in English. With the Old King James Version, a regular English dictionary and a good concordance, will no quite nicely. So, tonight, I looked up the word Charity. It’s much more than giving alms to the poor. And since we have numerous definitions for the word love, it’s yet more.
One definition, says it’s the love of God for man, or man for his fellow men. Another says, it’s the quality of being kind or lenient in judging others. What I was taught earlier this evening, is that charity, is a quality. It is a certain kind of personal trait; similar to integrity, ethics, character and morals. I always somehow knew, that it meant much more than loving people. Love is definitely part of charity, but this goes far beyond than just an emotion. As I read today, how charity acts, I realized that it was far beyond my very limited ability to love. My interpretation of this, had only come from others.
Our love can fail; it can wane and lose its original value. But charity, never fails, because it never changes. It’s who we are; not how we feel. We can love people, and still be puffed up or promote ourselves. When some of us failed somehow, our peers said they loved us; but they did not have real charity. Because, this quality, calls you and comes to see you, even if you haven’t lived up to their expectations. Read the first part. Paul said, it didn’t matter if we could do all those things; we can still be nothing. Charity is not a fruit of the Spirit. It’s true character, for those who choose to have it.
~ Robert Blackburn