Dictionary Definition –
noun: charity; plural noun: charities
- the voluntary giving of help, typically in the form of money, to those in need.
synonyms: financial assistance, aid, welfare, relief, financial relief
- philanthropy, humanitarianism, humanity, altruism, public-spiritedness, social conscience, benevolence, beneficence, munificence
- help or money given voluntarily to those in need.
- kindness and tolerance in judging others.
synonyms: goodwill, compassion, consideration, concern, kindness, kindheartedness, tenderness, tenderheartedness, sympathy, indulgence, tolerance, leniency, caritas; More
- love of humankind, typically in a Christian context.
Wikipedia Description –
Generosity, charity, self-sacrifice; the term should not be confused with the more restricted modern use of the word charity to mean benevolent giving. In Christian theology, charity—or love (agäpé) — is the greatest of the three theological virtues.
Love, in the sense of an unlimited loving kindness towards all others, is held to be the ultimate perfection of the human spirit, because it is said to both glorify and reflect the nature of God. Such love is self-sacrificial. Confusion can arise from the multiple meanings of the English word “love”. The love that is “caritas” is distinguished by its origin – being divinely infused into the soul – and by its residing in the will rather than emotions, regardless of what emotions it stirs up. This love is necessary for salvation, and with it no one can be lost.
Charity in a Christian perspective, is love. It is considered the greatest of the 3 Theological Virtues (which were combined with the 4 Cardinal Virtues to form the 7 Heavenly Virtues we talk about) because all good actions come from a place of love/charity. Through acts of love we make the world a better place. There is self-love, which involves the realization that you have to care for yourself if you ever want to be able to take care of others. There is love of another, which includes romantic love, friendship, and caring about people simply because they’re human beings. Additionally, and most importantly, there is love of God.
Christianity at is core is based on love – God’s love for us, ours for him, and love amongst ourselves. If you look back on all of your regrets, I bet that a majority of them stem from NOT acting out of love. Leading a life based on love creates happiness. If you give love, you receive love. It’s as simple as that. My challenge to you is to start consciously practicing love. Your heart can never be too full of charity. Start making conscious decisions to act lovingly, both to others and to yourself. Practicing charity can change your life, and only for the better. So be sure that you do one thing out of love at LEAST every day – the more, the better you feel and the greater your impact will be on the world.