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True Charity, The Giving of Oneself

Updated on October 22, 2012

Charity: a love of all others as brothers, from a belief that we are all children of God.

I had no brother.  Are you my keeper?
I had no brother. Are you my keeper? | Source

Donating money and things is one definition of "charity" but there is another much deeper definition: the gift of self and selfless service.

What is "the greatest love"?

The Bible quotes Jesus Christ as teaching that "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."

Christ continued, saying: "Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but i have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you."

Jesus could have been talking about the Atonement, his own death which he need not have suffered except for his love of all mankind, including of course his disciples, and his own obedience to his Father, the Father of us all.

As God is the Father of us all, then so are we all God's children, just as Jesus was God's Son.

In teaching, Jesus taught by example and said as much when he said" "For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you."

Christians are not alone in sharing of our substance, nor alone in sharing of our time, our talents, and our compassion. Every world religion that is worth its salt encourages charity, benevolence, and acts of kindness within the family and extended to others, even to total strangers.

Christians recall the scriptural story of the kind Samaritan who went the extra mile for a total stranger who had been beaten, stripped of everything he had, and left wounded by the side of the road. The Samaritan stopped his own journey, tended to the man's wounds, took him to an inn, paid the man's lodging and meals, and promised to cover any added expenses.

We are not likely to have the exact same opportunity or experience. We will have many other opportunities to experience the joy of using our own time, talents, energy, and compassion to meet the every day needs of others, even strangers.

Those occasions will arise when our helping hands, a word of defense or encouragement, some shared time with a lonely person, a visit to a sick person, a prisoner, or a cheerful smile and word of appreciated praise, can make an important difference in another's life.

There are volunteer organizations, not necessarily associated with any religious organization, which have already identified community needs and opportunities for service. They need more hands, voices, and hearts to meet those needs. And when those needs are met there will be still other pressing needs.

A popular hymn in one church asks "Have you done any good in the world today? Have you helped anyone in need? Have you cheered up the sad and made someone feel glad? If not, you have failed indeed."

The only time we actually fail, is when we don't even try. There are seemingly countless opportunities to be of service, and there is no need to start a list of them. The chances are good you could name five such opportunities you have right now!

If you need someone's help, sometimes all you need to do is ask. If you have the time, any skill at all, and a little energy, sometimes all you need to do is ask someone if you can help.. Someone in the next 24 hours can use the help that you can offer.


Copyright 2012 Demas W. Jasper All rights resrved.


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      Janhorner 5 years ago

      This is a very interesting hub. I believe just being kind and supportive to someone is showing your charitable love. I also donate to the NSPCC here in the UK every month and hope my donation helps some child somewhere.

      I would like to give an example of showing charitable kindness.

      When I started my new job five years ago there was no particular employee who was almost ignored by fellow colleagues because he 'talks to himself.' I started to say (cannot use his real name so will call him Mike) hello Mike are you okay to day. He did not answer for a long time but day by day I added a few more words. Hello Mike ready for another day etc. Mike now has no problem coming up to anyone in the office and asking for help with certain things. I treat Mike no differently to anyone else and never, ever make him feel he is 'different.' I can see a new confidence breaking out in Mike and this has been my reward.

      I have time for all kinds of people and would never turn my nose up at anyone.

      I remember not so long ago being stopped just outside a shop by a man who was obviously living on the streets. He said, "I have no home and need to get back to Stevenage (UK Hertfordshire) I am short of 45p for the bus fare, can you help me." I had around £1.50 in change and give it to him and wished him all the best. He looked so sad but I could see he also had lots of pride! This is something I will always remember.

      Sorry I went on! Voted up,


    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 5 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      "The ultimate expression of generousity is not in gigiving of what we have, but in giving of who we are"~Johnetta B. Cole

      Too often we make the mistake of thinking we don't have anything to give but we always have something to give.

      Thank you for sharing this all important hub!

    • picklesandrufus profile image

      picklesandrufus 5 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va

      Hi Perspcacious, I read with the children and we do a craft that goes along with the reading material. We work with the children while the parents are in life skill classes or attending educational programs. The non profit I work through is called REACH-Reading Enriches All Children

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 5 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      You are so right we must give of ourselves to those who need it so much. Around here though it is not so much volunteering as recruiting. People who at the present time are unemployed get recruited to help out at soup kitchens and places that hand out food packages to the needy. Passing this on.

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 5 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      Bravo! What will you be doing there typically?

    • picklesandrufus profile image

      picklesandrufus 5 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va

      I SO agree with you. Being of service is one of the most important things we can do as humans. I'm working in a shelter tomorrow and know full well that I will gain more than I will ever be able to give them.

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 5 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      ImKarn23: I stand corrected, the first verse of that hymn is "Have I done...." and ends "if not I have failed indeed." The last verse ends: "Only he who does something helps others to live. To God each good work will be known." The chorus is: "Then wake up and do something more than dream of your mansion above. Doing good is a pleasure, a joy beyond measure, a blessing of duty and love."

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 5 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      Mhatter99: We all need to rub away the sleep from our eyes, see the beauty of the humans around us, and do the miracles God will give us to do for one another. Our potential is limitless....with Him.

    • profile image

      Perspycacious 5 years ago

      mours sshields: Marcia, your comment of agreement is appreciated. One thing Jesus was never guilty of: selfishness. Millions of Christians covet their own time. It is selfish to do so once the needs of those dependent on you have been met. Our very next breath is a gift from a loving Heavenly Father who taught His Son to teach us. With his ascension his disciples went back to fishing, until he reminded them that they had a higher purpose. So do all of God's children. We are in this together, and no one of us will make it solely on our own. It takes a global village to raise the human race.

    • ImKarn23 profile image

      Karen Silverman 5 years ago

      i like that question: Have you done any good in the world today! More peole should ask it of themselves - starting at the very top!

      Great reminder...

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for raising awareness. Many people, from my experience, are not aware that they do have a talent that will help. from 1995 to 2010 I worked hard to wake up the Bay Area's sleeping Masonic Fraternity.

    • profile image

      mours sshields 5 years ago from Elwood, Indiana

      Very true! We all have gifts, talents, and time where we can be of service to others.

      Marcia Ours