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Charity, A Needful Christian Character

We discussed in the last blog post how that charity is not love. Charity is a practical behavior that keeps relationships civil. A person trained as a British butler such as we might see in any old movie, would operate on the precepts of I Corinthians 4-7 without having to love anyone. By rigidly keeping each of those precepts, he himself will never be the cause of any rancor or unsettled emotions. Regardless of what waves of emotions are crashing around him, he will remain imperturbable and be able to do his job.

Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things, I Corinthians 13:4-7. Imagine that old butler putting up with a whining and nagging mistress. Imagine him never resenting his employers because he envied their wealth. Imagine him never demanding to be noticed, or puffing up with indignation because his ideas are not being followed.

Imagine this old butler never behaving himself unseemly, but always keeping a perfect deportment whether he is feeling ill or feeling neglected. Imagine him seeing to the needs of his master and mistress before taking care of his own needs. Imagine his smooth polished manner even when a guest had spoken to him rudely. Imagine this old butler seeing something questionable but maintaining the same composure because he has learned not to jump to conclusions. Imagine this old butler hearing of the arrest of one of his master's wayward children, but he shows no sign of rejoicing even if that child has made the butler's life miserable.

Imagine this old butler congratulating his master upon hearing of some good thing about him. Imagine him bearing up when things get difficult in the homestead. Imagine him never losing hope when all looks ill for himself and his employers. Imagine this old butler enduring whatever is thrown his way in the tumults and goings on of his master's house.

What you have just imagined is not love. You have imagined is a man with impeccable character because it is his job. If he failed in any one of them, he would not keep his job for long. If a man can behave that way for 40 years to get a paycheck, why can't a Christian behave that way in a church? And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all, Mark 9:35. Be that old butler in your church.

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