You know when you hear about some gospel topic over and over again and it seems like Heavenly Father is really trying to get something through to you – and maybe He feels like you’re not going to get it the first time?
Well, on Saturday morning I woke up feeling… well, a little less than charitable. I was extremely ornery. I hopped on my computer to check the blogs I usually read, and the first thing on my blog reader was this post by Corine over at Joy in the Journey. I read this quote, and immediately knew it had to be printed and taped up on the wall in my bathroom.
I have read Moroni 7:44-45 (men is nothing with out charity, etc) and 1 Corinthians 13 (charity suffereth long, is not puffed up, not easily provoked, etc) countless times. I have listened to and studied talk after talk after talk after talk after talk at General Conference on charity, but for some reason (natural man, anyone?) it is so hard for me to remember, in all my actions, to have charity.
In 1 Corinthians, Paul says, “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” But the greatest is charity. So if you have faith and hope, fine, but if you don’t have charity, you are “nothing” as Paul so eloquently puts it.
Since Saturday I have been working really hard at being charitable. You’ll be happy to know that I haven’t woken up ornery at all since then, and I don’t plan to start being ornery again any time soon. I am being more patient with my children and my husband, and I am learning to endure difficult circumstances without feeling like a martyr. Not feeling like a martyr when I am suffering because of the actions of others is probably the very hardest thing for me – charity doesn’t come easy for me, especially when I feel like someone who shouldn’t be hurting me is hurting me. But thanks to Corine’s post, I am putting that away (that feeling like a martyr). It’s not fun, feeling like a martyr. It makes me cranky and ornery and stressed (and it makes me break out – and that is never a good thing). It makes me short tempered with my kids. Basically, when I lack charity in one area of my life, it causes my charity to vanish in all the other aspects.
So if I want to have charity with my children, I’ll have to have charity with everyone in my life – even those I don’t think deserve my charity. What?! Did I really just say that? Yes – that attitude is the very thing that has been keeping me from having charity. I was honestly believing that this person didn’t deserve my charity. Fortunately, the Savior commanded us to love everyone – not just people we think deserve our love.
Basically if I can just remember to do everything Elder Ashton describes in the quote above, I should be fine. I’ve been working on it, and I am getting better – I have been able to have so much more charity the past few days. And it feels better.
A lot better.
Do you ever notice yourself lacking charity? How do you remind yourself to have charity throughout the day? Do you post quotes up by your mirrors like I do? Do you carry around a token in your pocket? What do you do to remember to be charitable to everyone?