Sunday, October 18, 2009

What is my idea of Christian Charity?

That is a question I believe we should ask ourselves periodically, I know I catch myself being uncharitable, and I have to bring the meaning back into it's true form.

Hate the sin not the sinner... well that kinda covers it - but I don't think it is complete either.

I am thinking about how we are so quick to jump on each other for our differences. I'll give a few examples.

Women: Boy we are mean to the core, and we are nasty and vial to each other. I stay at home with my kids and for some reason that gives working moms the right to belittle me. I've heard it all, I'm taking away from my kids because I don't help bring in the cash, my kids suffer because they can't do or have all they want. I homeschool and there fore I am horrible because as a Christian, I should send my children out to be the light in the darkness, the example. I am not allowing them to develop "normal" social skills. I am secluding them. I am a wife who will cook and serve her husband breakfast - oh Lord he is such a tyrant! and I'm horrible to allow it. And of course the women on the other side of those bridges hear some things about themselves too.

Christians: Well, I've touched on that a bit, but it just kills me that Christians can sometimes be the WORST at expressing Christian charity. If I go to one church instead of another then I'm lost, if I watch a horror movie then I'm lost, if I allow my children to read certain books well I'm sending them straight to hell in a hand basket. There are times when I feel the most judged by my Christian friends. And further more, since I'm Catholic some of them don't even consider me Christian. In our church Christian means one who believes in and follows Christ. I don't know a Catholic around who isn't being taught to do this. Of course we are not perfect - show me someone who is and I'll worship them, because as far as I know Jesus was the only human who was also perfect.

Parents: You see where I'm going with this. At first I didn't really separate this category, but after the recent saga of "balloon boy" I had to add it. Why is it that all were so worried about the boy, then the news broke that he was safe and the FIRST thing out of some peoples mouths were abuse, neglect, etc??? I mean how many parents out there don't have some story about how they were scared by something their child did or got into and the tables could have been easily turned on you as well. Now, of course we find out that the "balloon boy" was not all it was cracked up to be, fine charge them. My issue is with people who will cry "unfit parent" and every parent who's child is hurt or lost etc. Kids are kids folks and sometimes they get into trouble. There is not a parent out there who has not at one time or another thought "gee, I should have..."

So my point in all this is that we need to have a little more charity towards one another. Don't be so quick to point a finger, try instead to support those who do things a little differently. If you feel it is your duty to "save" someone you better look at the log in your own eye first, because I guarantee that there is someone out there who can find your faults.

I'm not saying we don't try and build each other up, help each other grow etc. but telling me that I'm sending my kids to hell for letting them read a book - well frankly I just want to tell you where to stick the book rather than to rethink my position. I'd much rather let my kids read Harry Potter and discuss it with them in regards to magic and spells not being real, and how they can't really fix their glasses with a few words and how nice it is that the kids stick by their friends side, and help each other out, then to listen to you judge me on something so superficial. If you truly think I am endangering my children, there are better ways to approach me then to basically call me an abuser and a heathen. Stay at home moms can help support working moms and vise versa - you don't have to be at each others throats. Homeschoolers, we fight the school, we fight the media, we fight a battle upstream against ourselves "are we doing enough" "can I be doing something more" etc. we do not have to fight against each other as well.

Christian charity is a lot about hating the sin but not the sinner but it is also about recognizing that no matter where we are on our path of being a good person or a good Christian NONE of us is perfect and NONE of us can presume to be better than another in all areas of our lives. We need to learn from each other, support each other, help each other and look into our own house to see where we are willing to seek or accept help.

Remember that no matter what we've done in our lives we always have the chance to get to heaven, we all have the chance to repent to the only one who matters. And in judging others harshly, you have some repenting to do as well. You see we can judge to a point but it is not our job to decide who is lost or saved. I can keep my children from hanging around with drug dealers, and I can judge that their actions are not what I want my children to emulate - but it is not my job to say they are going to Hell. Because you see God has told us that they have as much opportunity to receive HIS blessing and mercy and forgiveness.

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