Sunday, November 15, 2009


"Charity suffereth," says Paul.

But wait, there's more: "charity suffereth ... LONG."

Now then. Who wants some charity?

I'm actually pretty serious. It's easy to kind when I'm feeling great. It's easy to not think evil of people, to not be provoked, to believe and hope all things when the sky is blue and I got enough sleep and a hearty breakfast and some good exercise and my work is going well and Hyrum gave me the cutest smile ever and my wife loves me to pieces. It's really easy to feel God's love for me and all mankind on days like that. It's every other day that I realize I don't have charity.

"Charity suffereth long and is kind." The headache, the stress all day long, running back and forth, kids screaming at you and you still respond with a soft voice and kindness. At first, kindness no matter what it costs you, kind even if it kills you. When we've really become charitable, it's natural to be kind even when we're suffering.

"Charity suffereth long and ... envieth not." When we feel God's pure love for us individually, it's easy to not envy someone else's success or lack of problems (as we imagine). Secure in God's love for us and them, what more do we need?

"Charity suffereth long and ... is not puffed up." We say, 'I've suffered! No one has suffered the way I have. No one has to put up with a spouse/kids/boss/pain like mine. My pain is my badge of honor.' But that's not how a person with charity feels and lives.

"Charity suffereth long and ... thinketh no evil." There are so many flavors for this one. There's the thirst for revenge (that dirty rotten son of a camel....); blaming God for our suffering and choosing to do evil to get back at God; all the envying and being puffed up already mentioned; just giving up. These thoughts drive out the love of God, just as thoughts of His love drive away the thoughts of evil. The two cannot stay in the same place at the same time.

"Charity suffereth long and ... hopeth all things." Charity is the antidote to bitterness. Hoping all things includes having the faith that we can "endureth all things."

I could go on with a lot more details and examples ... but I think it would be more charitable to forbear.

1 comment:

Grandma Jule said...

Got some very chewey thoughts there, son.

Well considered.