Charity may be the last think on your mind. The media is reporting that more than 60% of Americans believe that 2021 was the worst year of their lives. Many people are hurting; yet we have become more isolated than ever before.
Most agree that charity and generosity are good things; indeed, charity is a virtue and worthy of our pursuit. The late author C.S. Lewis says this about charity: “I do not believe one can settle how much we ought to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare. In other words, if our expenditure on comforts, luxuries, amusements, etc., is up to the standard common among those with the same income as our own, we are probably giving away too little. If our charities do not at all pinch or hamper us, I should say they are too small. There ought to be things we should like to do and cannot do because our charitable expenditure excludes them.”
What is Charity?
So what is charity? Merriam Webster generally defines charity as the “act of giving money, food, or other kinds of help to people who are poor, sick, etc.” It is the “other kinds of help” that I would like to discuss.
Countless non-profits, churches, and governmental agencies have programs dedicated to providing financing resources to those in need. And many people are intentional about generously donating their money to the poor. But how often do we think about sharing our joy or encouragement with others?
In his famous Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught his followers that we should not light a lamp and then hide it under a basket, but instead put it on a lampstand so that its light can be seen by all who are in the house. Matthew 5:15. In other words, don’t horde your joy and good works; instead, share your joy and good works with others. Don’t take your joy for granted. We all have good days and bad days. If you’re having a good day, look for opportunities to encourage someone around you who might need cheering up. And if you’re having a bad day, I humbly suggest that you still might look for opportunities to encourage someone around you. You might be surprised by the joy that comes back to you when you give to others. And maybe together, we can make any year the best year of our lives.
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Christopher J. Charles is the founder and Managing Partner of Provident Law ®. He is a State Bar Certified Real Estate Specialist and a former “Broker Hotline Attorney” for the Arizona Association of REALTORS ® (the “AAR”). Mr. Charles holds the AV ® Preeminent Rating by the Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings system which connotes the highest possible rating in both legal ability and ethical standards. He serves as an Arbitrator and Mediator for the AAR regarding real estate disputes; and he served on the State Bar of Arizona’s Civil Jury Instructions Committee where he helped draft the Agency Instructions and the Residential Landlord/Tenant Eviction Jury Instructions. Christopher regularly teaches continuing education classes at the Arizona School of Real Estate and Business, and he can be reached at chris@ProvidentLawyers.com or at 480-388-3343.