Sparkle Background


Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday Meditation - Mosiah 4:16-18

I really struggle with this scripture.  It's not that I disagree with it, like I struggle with some other scriptures I've discussed.  I struggle to implement it.

And also, ye yourselves will succor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in van, and turn him out to perish.
Perhaps thou shalt say: The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punshiments are just--
But I say unto you, O man, whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he hath done he perisheth forever, and hath no interest in the kingdom of God.   Mosiah 4:16-18

Add to that:

And if ye judge the man who putteth up his petition to you for your substance that he perisheth not, and condemn him, how much more just will be your condemnation for withholding your substance, which doth not belong to you but to God to whom also your life belongeth; and yet ye put up no petition, nor repent of the thing which thou hast done.  Mosiah 4:22
I'm thinking this is one of those laws/commandments that there are different degrees to which you live it.  One is action - just giving is the first step.  At a higher level is attitude - we've given in the past with attitude (that the person didn't deserve it) but now we're giving with true charity, the pure love of Christ.

I wanted to expand on that thought - Christ doesn't give forgiveness only to those who deserve it, where the cause of their sin wasn't their choice.  Of course, the only times I can think of a sin not being by choice would be injuring another in self-defense or a lack of knowledge of the commandments.  And are those really "sins"?  Christ's only requirement is for someone to ask for forgiveness with a true heart.

So applying the knowledge of Christ's example and this scripture, we can't judge who "deserves" our help if they are asking.  Fortunately, we also have Heavenly Father's example in answering our prayers as to how we help.  Heavenly Father doesn't always give us exactly what we ask for, He knows what we truly need and grants us those needs.  So if someone is asking for help and asks for money, we don't have to give them money.  If they are in need, we can provide food and in some cases, provide funding directly to the creditor (mortgage company, utility company, etc).

We give as we can, normally through the Fast Offering.  Much of the time we fall under the exemption (Mosiah 4:24-25) because there is not much extra to impart to another.  But the exemption does NOT apply to the attitude.  If we do not have extra, we may not be able to give money, food, clothing, etc., but we CAN give Charity, the true love of Christ.  Which means we do not judge others that they "deserve" the struggles they are going through and don't deserve help.

One final thing we are not exempt from is that if another is in need of a skill we have, even if we do not have extra substance, we can teach.  For example, our household budget doesn't have much extra in it, but I can (and do) share with others how to stretch a budget.  I think we do okay with this part of the commandment.  Now on to improving my attitude of Charity.

1 comment:

K said...

Great thoughts for me to think about and do better with. Thank-you!