Charity. It’s the greatest of all God’s spiritual gifts. Greater than prophesy. Greater than visions. Greater than miracles. Greater than feeding the world’s poor. Greater than anything we could give in the service of God. Go on, read 1 Corinthians 13, you will see. You will see that a word we have reduced down to “service” or “love” is much, much more than that.
Charity isn’t something we do to others. It’s what God does to us. Charity isn’t something we give, it’s something we receive. Charity is a condition, not an action.
Charity is when God says “I love you.” It’s the supernal spiritual gift because it is what our spirit desires and grows from most. All else fails to meet our basic spiritual need. Knowledge won’t do it. Prophecies won’t do it. Scriptures won’t do it. Service won’t do it. All of these, like trying to fill our stomach with small sides of broccoli and applesauce, while healthy will ultimately still leave us undernourished and hungering. But when—sometimes as a result of those side dishes—in a quiet moment God’s Spirit whispers to our soul: “I love you” “You are my child” “I will help you” “You are beloved to me,” then we’ve been fed God’s main dish of charity.
Why is charity the greatest? Because when, like a parched tree, we are watered by the love of God, it continually produces heavenly fruits in our lives. The love of God causes what Paul talks about: suffering long, kindness, humility, selflessness, righteousness. Charity grows the sustaining qualities of a life-long disciple.
If you haven’t experienced it yet, pray for it with all the energy of your soul. The love of God is there. “Follow after charity” Paul says, because, when you find it, it changes everything.