We often think the word “charitable” means generous in financial giving. While this is true, there is another definition: apt to judge others leniently or favorably. Because of the sin that is part of our DNA, we seldom do this. Instead we think the worst of others. This seems particularly true in the world of social media. Those with whom we disagree are demonized. They’re not just wrong, they’re downright evil. Rather than trying to understand and dialog, we attack and belittle. This doesn’t just happens in politics, it divides families and churches. As Christians, we’re called to avoid this kind of behavior. In the book of Romans, Paul says:
“1Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” Romans 12:10
Other Christians are to be treated as our siblings; other people as God’s beloved creations. EVEN WHEN WE DISAGREE.
Here’s a quote from my devotional written by Arthur P. Stanley ((1815-1881), an English churchman and academic:
“Love one another in spite of your differences, in spite of your faults. Love one another and make the best of one another, as He loved us, who, for the sake of saving what was good in the human soul, forgot, forgave, put out of sight what was bad–who saw and loved what was good even in the publican Zacheus, even in the penitent Magdalen, even in the expiring malefactor, even in the heretical Samaritan, even in the Pharisee Nicodemus, even in the heathen soldier, even in the outcast Canaanite. It is very easy to fix our attention only on the weak points of those around us, to magnify them, to irritate them, to aggravate them; and by so doing, we can make the burden of life unendurable, and can destroy our own and others’ happiness and usefulness wherever we go. But this was not the love wherewith Christ loved us; this is not the new love wherewith we are to love one another.”
Be charitable. Love like Jesus.