At first glance, the principle of charity seems to be neatly wrapped up in ideas that denote gentleness, warm compassion, and peace.
All of these words are a part of charity. However, I believe charity is also meant to be bold and fearless. When I think of the love of Jesus Christ, which is often used as the ultimate definition of charity, I think of a love so deep it spurred an astounding loyalty and determination in the midst of agony. I think of going against norms and beyond comfort zones to minister to the one.
Consider these words from President Henry B. Eyring: “You are under covenant to go to a spiritually wounded child of God. You are responsible to be brave enough and bold enough not to turn away.”
By becoming more bold and fearless, we can love more like Jesus Christ, bringing ourselves and others closer to Him.
Eyes to See & Ears to Hear
Of His faithful disciples, Jesus once said, “Blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.”
Jesus, in His perfection, always saw what others did not and invited all to open their eyes and ears. As we grow in faith, we are able to take on His perspective.
Many around us suffer in silence. Many struggle to express their needs, their pain, their fears. Church culture often praises a glossy optimistic attitude over the dented reality of our souls. Even when others are truly doing well, there are always things in every heart that can be touched by charity’s power.
In order to be bold and fearless in our service, we need to have eyes to see and ears to hear. This is primarily brought about by two things: an added measure of the Spirit and an unwavering commitment to act upon what the Spirit directs you to do.
The Spirit will allow us to see the needs of others, even if those needs are not explicitly stated. When someone is inwardly crying, but outwardly smiling, the Spirit can give us ears to hear those cries. Throughout our day-to-day lives, we will begin to recognize the abundant opportunities around us to serve, both large and small.
Of course, if we do not act when we truly see and truly hear, our charitable vision will not last. We must be willing to do good the moment it strikes us, without hesitation. If we wait, Satan stands ready and waiting to convince us our efforts are not needed, that what we discerned is incorrect and that we are incapable of making a difference.
Do not give Satan the time to dissuade you by acting on your first thought to do good, each and every time. We may not always see the difference we’re making, but we will find our spiritual senses for charity growing stronger and more able.
Assume Everyone Around You Needs Help
Becoming in-tune with the Spirit and acting fearlessly is a process, one that is often challenging. To get started, take a small step by changing your mindset about one simple thing.
Someone once said,“Everyone is going through something you know nothing about.”
In general, I think this is a very wise statement. If we can look at those around us as someone to love, we will automatically be opening our hearts to more opportunities.
We never want to take on a prideful role when it comes to our service, acting as if everyone needs our help all of the time in order to gain some sort of twisted confidence. However, it is likely the people you see every day who seem to have everything together need help in some fashion.
In fact, I think it is braver in a way to work through someone’s hard shell to find their tender, broken heart, than to just take the easiest opportunities to serve because they are the most visible. Never assume there’s nothing you can do. There’s always something. And you may never know just how impactful your act of love may be to someone.
Love Isn’t Always Popular
Jesus admonishes us to love our enemies. This idea often becomes garbled and confused in the rhetoric of politics and vitriolic personal opinion. Jesus chose to love by offering His life for people He knew would likely never choose Him. It is a bold thing He did, sacrificing Himself as the ultimate act of love even for those who didn’t want it.
We can do the same. In today’s world, we can do our best in extending love to the outcasts and the downtrodden. Allow Jesus to be the judge. Allow Jesus to be the Savior. Our great commandment is to treat everyone not just as Christ would, but as Christ commanded us to, which is to “love thy neighbour as thyself.”
How do you want to be loved? With hesitation? With judgment? With fear? No. You want to be loved boldly and fearlessly. That is the way Jesus loves and because He isn’t here with us physically, He asks us to love in His stead.
Are you ready for that challenge? It begins right now.