Charity and Community

The main reason why I wanted to name this blog “A Devious Mind” is because of the way I learn.  I may be a slow learner, not clever, or just plain dumb.  But, I like to think that I learn by coincidentally taking the long way around to learn something.  I discover new truths, leave behind old ones and then continue the journey onward.  I would say that life works like this for most people.  But I am often surprised at how many people I meet that have had the same worldview their whole life, or so they tell me.  When I examine myself, it seems like my worldview is constantly changing.  I pick up a new belief every day and leave another behind, or the belief changes slightly.  Two of these world views that have changed over time are charity and community.  I used to see them as two separate principles, two different entities of love and duty.  Time has brought me to realize that the two are not only linked together but, to be truly charitable, one must have a love of community.

Is charity simply donating money, or time or both?  I think it is the combination of both and a third thing, labor.  Charity is “loving your neighbor as thyself.”  And when you love someone, you will spend money on them, you will spend time for them and with them, but most of all you labor with them.  You share in your loved one’s trials, you feel their despair and see their longings.  You feel joy when they feel joy.  You will work for them, with them, around them because labor is love.

Labor its self, has a way of bringing people together.  If a leader at work does not ever get dirty and never works with his crew, the leader will have little success.  But, if that leader works with his crew they will learn to work as a team and accomplish many things, they will grow together.  Why is this?  I believe it is mainly because everyone learns to respect each other regardless of background or education.  The crew learns that in order to be effective, they must help each other.

These two concepts apply to charity and community.  When the community spends time laboring together for a cause or need, the community will grow together and many lives will be helped.  I am coming to see that charity is more than writing out a check for ten percent of my family’s income.  It might possibly be this and once a month or week, donating time for a local cause or need.  But above all, labor with the community, work for each other.  See what they see so that you will see what they stand in need of and you will learn to love them and the community will grow.

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