<img class="size-full wp-image-54276 alignleft" src="https:\/\/theenterprise.net\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/23\/2021\/07\/Pulpit.png" alt="" width="133" height="180" \/>By Curtis L. Pilson\r\n\r\nPastor Mount Calvary Holy Church\r\n\r\nAs you read these words, I encourage you to meditate on something that seems to be lost in our world today: the desire and compassion to love oneself and others. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 13:1-2, \u201cThough I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understanding all mysteries, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove the mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.\u201d As we read on in this chapter, verse 8 tells us, \u201cCharity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.\u201d Verse 11 reads, \u201cWhen I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.\u201d Verse 13 also goes on to say, \u201cNow abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest is charity.\u201d\r\n\r\nAs we read these scriptures and more, we can quickly feel burdened over the displays of hate and greed we see around us, as that is not how God intended us to treat one another. It breaks my heart to see this, and it causes me to reflect. In doing so, I feel immense gratitude that I had loving parents who raised me in a loving home. The world sends the message, \u201cI got mine, you get yours.\u201d Rather, my parents taught my siblings and me to help others. If people were hungry, we were taught to feed them. If someone needed a hand, we were taught to offer it. If someone just needed a kind word, we were taught to give it.\r\n\r\nTo illustrate this, I want to share a story that a gentleman told me about my mother. The man explained that shortly after his family moved into Patrick County, they had a terrible house fire and lost everything they owned. This gentleman shared that my mother brought he and his family a big box of clothes, food, and other things they could use. He said, \u201cShe didn\u2019t know us, but she gave.\u201d Friends, this is true charity.\r\n\r\nAdditionally, I encountered another situation that caused me to reflect on the topic of charity. I was having some work done on my vehicle one day, and while waiting, I heard a woman singing. I asked her what she was singing, to which she replied, \u201cI am happy, but I don\u2019t understand why people treat me like this.\u201d The woman went on to say that she hired someone to do some work for her and they told her they would come; however, they did not tell her \u201cthe minute, hour, day, or if it would be next year.\u201d I sensed the sarcasm in her tone as I listened to her voice her frustrations. She shared that she knew her accent indicated to others that she was of Asian descent, and she felt that whoever she tried to hire did not seem to like Asian people. She stated, \u201cI don\u2019t know if they are racist, or prejudice, or whatever the right word is, but guess what? They still haven\u2019t come!\u201d I empathized with this woman and agreed that some individuals who we think will help us do not. She shared that she was a U.S. citizen and owned her own business, but she still could not hire reliable help. We discussed how the world can prejudge based on outward appearance and decide worthiness for help from that basis. This led us into discussion about how there seemed to be those with plenty, and those with nothing. For instance, we spoke about the recent gas shortage and the panic that ensued. We commented on how we witnessed many individuals filling up multiple vehicles, gas cans, and even barrels to have as reserves; while others were struggling to find enough gas just to get to work. We talked about snow days, and how it could be hard to find milk or bread during those times. Lastly, we discussed how many individuals had trouble finding bottled water, toilet paper, or paper towels during the pandemic, while others were hoarding more than enough. This brought us to a question: What happened to trusting God and loving your neighbor as yourself?\r\n\r\nIn observing the world around us, it looks and sounds as if we all need to do some Galatians 5:22 fruit inspection; \u201cBut the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance.\u201d We know that in Christ, we are a new creation. This reality allows us to not dwell in the past but instead live with a hope in Jesus Christ. Whether we grew up in a Christian household or not, and whether our parents raised us to love our neighbor as ourself or not, we must remember that our life is continually being renewed into the likeness of the One who created us; giving us the full revelation of God. In this \u201cnew creation\u201d life, our nationality makes no difference, nor our ethnicity, education, or economic status. For it is Christ that means everything, as He lives within every one of us regardless of those factors. God\u2019s desire for us is to be merciful, be understanding, be compassionate, be kind, be gentle, be humble, and be patient with others. He also calls us to forgive one another in the same way that the Father has forgiven us. In doing so, we can take off the \u201cold life\u201d and move forward; we can allow our future to be greater than our past.\r\n\r\nLove is the mark of true maturity. Let us let every activity of our lives and every word that comes from our lips be drenched with the beauty of our Lord Jesus. Let us never cease to praise God because of what Jesus Christ has done for us. Lastly, remember Colossians 3:23, \u201cWhatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord and not for people.\u201d\r\n\r\nUntil we write again, Shalom.