2 Peter 1:7
“God’s love through you” is a great definition of Charity. You must have time for God’s love to work on you, before it can work through you. Peter has charity as the last item to add to your faith. Paul writes in the great love chapter [1 cor.13] about the kind of love God has for the believer and which the believer is to have for others. The churches of today portray a God that is all love. That is a very perverted view. Love without hate is not real love. If you love cleanliness, you will hate dirt. If you love your wife and children, you will hate anyone or anything that tries to harm them. [Rom.9:13] is only one example, “Esau have I hated”. [Ps.139:22] shows an example of David’s hatred. In this age (church age), all of god’s love is demonstrated in the righteous life and sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Apart from Christ, God loves no man [John 3:36]. God’s love is a giving love. Charity is a giving love. Love that doesn’t give is not real. In marriage you will quickly learn that you have to give in, and give out, and give up. If you are not willing to give then it turns into take, take, take. That is not God’s way. [John 3:16] He gave. [John 15:13] “Greater love hath no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends.” That is a Godly love or Charity. You can give without loving, but you can’t love without giving.
The next time you give a gift to someone, be very honest and write down on a piece of paper, “I gave this gift because…” and then tell the truth. I fear that most of us will not have Charity as the reason. [Rom.5:5], you love according as you yield yourself unto God to love through you.
[1Cor.134-7] Paul shows us the characteristics of Charity:
- Suffereth long – God loves you enough to put up with your foolishness as long as he has, can’t you love others in the same way?
- Kind – [Eph.4:32] your brethren, and should go much farther [Luke 6:35-36]
- Envieth not – The love of God in a Christian should overcome things like envy. The Jews crucified Jesus because of envy [Matt.27:18]
- Vaunteth not itself – to boast or brag – not done to be seen of others
- Not puffed up – not prideful, but humble
- Doth not behave itself unseemly – “Road Rage” with a scripture bumper sticker
- Seeketh not her own – Not worried about your rights, you will be discriminated against.
- Is not easily provoked – you may get provoked, but not easily [James 1:19]
- Thinketh no evil – don’t grieve or quench the Holy spirit in your life, by the same token, if you love the brethren you shouldn’t impute evil motives or evil things to them.[1 Pet.4:8]
- Rejoiceth not in iniquity – If you love God like you should, you’re not happy when you hear a report of a brother falling or a Christian making a wreck of his life.
- But rejoiceth in truth – preaching and teaching of the word of God should cause you to rejoice.
- Beareth all things – if you love, you will put up with stuff, your parents or spouse does.
- Believeth all things – All things that are right, check them against the authority [Acts 17:10-11]
- Hopeth all things – A Christians’ hope is not in something that may or may not happen, but in something that will happen. “All things” are the promises of God.
- Endureth all things– [2 Thes.1:4] persecutions and tribulation, [2Tim.2:3] hardness [2 Tim.2:10] Paul endured all things for the saints because of the love of God through him.