What is charity

3 min read

The Meaning of Charity

When you read the word charity, what comes to mind? Perhaps images of large nonprofit organizations or specific missions you've been involved in. You may have in mind an industry that raises money to do good stuff. Or the word "scheme" may come to mind when you read charity.

Regardless of your initial associations with charity, let's challenge those notions with an idea you may have never considered before. Charity is more profound than just nonprofits or their industry; it goes beyond people giving, volunteering, and doing good works. It's even more than heartfelt, cheerful generosity.

The Origins of Charity

The origination of charity goes way back to before there were people roaming the earth, back further than the earth and creation itself. Charity, in its essence, originates in the heart of God. It is a characteristic intrinsic to our Creator, one that He chose to share with His creation.

Now, we're not wearing rose-colored glasses here at Mite. We recognize that, in our modern era, the meaning of charity has been somewhat distorted. Nevertheless, the crucial point here is that charity didn't start with humans, nor did it derive its meaning and purpose from them. God initiated charity, and He alone defines its meaning.

Mites Perspective on Charity

As mortal humans, we propose that, at its most fundamental level, God's charity can be defined as love—true love. Charity involves sacrifice, but it's not sacrifice without a purpose. In the original King James translation of the New Testament, the term "charity" was used interchangeably with "love." You might be familiar with the verse in 1 Corinthians 13:13, "Now abideth faith, hope, and charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity." You likely heard the translation where charity was replaced with love.

So, at its core, charity is love, but not just any love. If charity originated with God, then the love displayed in charity is the love of God, at least in its purest form. Now that's something entirely different from nonprofits collecting money to help others.