But that's only partially right. Charity really means love. Only when we give with love is it truly charity. Only when we give from our heart do we feel God's love in our heart. Only by expressing God's love from within ourselves are we able to express charity as one aspect of that all encompassing love.
And you can tell the difference between giving and giving with love. Between charity for charity's sake and charity that comes from your soul. When your giving is done more by habit or a need to be or appear charitable you don't feel the same. You may feel resentful at having to give, or you may feel frustrated that you can't give more. Perhaps your giving used to make you feel good, but now you feel nothing. These feelings are all the result of not giving from the heart. Once you learn that, all your giving will truly be charitable.
Every day we're asked to demonstrate our charity by dozens, if not hundreds, of worthwhile groups and organizations. Our church expects a little of our money... many of our community and civic groups run solely on donations of both time and money... we're asked to support cancer and heart disease research and sick children and orphaned children and starving children and abused women and the homeless and abandoned puppies and kittens...
We are literally bombarded with pleas all day every day. Billboards, TV advertising, direct mailing, e-mail, telephone fundraisers, the homeless woman on the corner... It never seems to end. With so many cries for help, how can we possibly decide where our charity should be directed?
Let your heart guide you. Let the God love within you direct your actions and your gifts. It's really simple. Whatever makes you feel good is the right thing for you to be supporting. Whatever makes you feel good is the right thing for you to be giving.
We all give in different ways. Some give money, some give their knowledge and experience, some give physical labor. What you give doesn't matter, how you give does. How much you give doesn't matter, how you give does. A smile, a kind word, a day's labor, a month's wages - these gifts are all the same in God's eye. To Him, only the source of the gift matters. Did it come from the heart? Is this giving done with passion?
Trust in Gods love. When we all express God's love toward humanity and nature the natural flow of abundance in the world is maintained. It is only when we act out of habit or chase a false virtue that we help to maintain an imbalance of in the world.
Charity is God's love, and we each have an endless supply of that love within us. Share that love generously, and you'll find that being charitable will be a natural state you are already in, not a form of goodness that you have to struggle towards.
Charity is love.
Bob Crawford is a spiritual teacher, inspirational speaker, and writer. He can be contacted at email@example.com.
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Copyright © 2007 by Robert Crawford