"Now abideth faith, hope & charity, these three; but, the greatest of these is Charity."
All my Christian life, I have heard the scripture 1Corinthians 13:13 and was taught that charity meant giving of donations: clothing, money, food, furniture, etc. Every year, I made sure to give. Until, one day, I read it for myself and learned there was more to Charity than just donations to those in need.
When we review Charity in the Word of God, all scriptures point to Charity as an action to provoke a reaction. I now understand that Charity is first a reflection of myself to determine my motive, then it is an action of love in mercy and truth. Colossians 3:12-14 clearly states we should put on the bowels of compassion first and then charity. 1 Peter 4:8 declares that fervent charity covers a multitude of sins, and James 5:20 explains that he who converts a sinner from the error of his way shall save that soul from death and hide a multitude of sins.
Charity is more than just giving donations. It is so much bigger than that. Charity is about helping a brother/sister discover the error of their ways and finding repentance. Proverbs 16:6,8 states that by charity (mercy & truth), iniquity is purged. This is why Apostle Paul explains to the Corinthian church that this kind of charity takes maturity. It requires more of us than just going to Goodwill or the Salvation Army and feeling we have done our part. It is about us rescuing one another with mercy and truth, in brotherly love and brotherly kindness, from the clutches of sin. It's about us approaching one another with empathy and love, encouraging each other, reproving, and building up. It is about coming in unity in the body of Christ as one. Charity is so much more than donations; it is LOVE. Have fervent charity today and encourage someone for unity in the body of Christ.
Devotional reading: 1Corinthians 13; Colossians 3:12-14, 1 Peter 4:8; James 5:20; Proverbs 16:6,8.