I will try this day to live a simple, sincere, and serene life, repelling promptly every thought of discontent, anxiety, discouragement, impurity, and self-seeking; cultivating cheerfulness, magnanimity, charity, and the habit of holy silence… [A Morning Resolve, Forward Day by Day]

Charity isn’t a virtue if it means giving the least amount of money possible to maintain the appearance or feeling of moral superiority above those who receive it.

Charity is a vice if writing a check is a way to avoid seeing the poverty of others.

True charity is building half a bridge out of my God-given resources, trusting that the rest will be built out of someone else’s need.

True charity is knowing it’s an honor to cross over from either side, and a blessing to meet friend or stranger in the middle.


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I am a Christian educator and writer.I have worked in churches, denominational offices, and seminaries. I have a PhD in Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary, with a focus on Practical Theology and educating in faith. In 2010, my book, "How the Other Half Lives: the challenges facing clergy spouses and partners," was published by Pilgrim Press. I believe that words can build doorways that lead to encounters with God through the Spirit.

4 thoughts on “Charity”

  1. Thank you for this month’s exploration of “A Morning Resolve”. You make it live. Next maybe Phillips Brooks’ great prayer at the back of FDBD??
    Anyway I was thinking how selfish I am with my charity–and decided that it’s okay. Maybe:
    “It is enough to be sure of the deed. Our courteous Lord will deign to redeem the motive.” Dame Julian of Norwich
    Blessings, Johnna!

    1. That’s true – we can’t get so caught up in motive hunting that we get paralyzed. And blessings come from impurely motivated deeds all the time – I’m just not sure many ask for God to redeem the motive, so they lose the blessing such giving offers their inner lives. It was a toss-up, whether to go with A Morning Resolve, or Phillips Brooks’ prayer in the back. Maybe you can kick off the reflections on that one when the time comes? peace, Johnna

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