Saturday, January 30, 2010

Charity As a Progressive Journey

Something struck me as I was contemplating the end of this month's resolution (to suffer more in kindness) and the beginning of next month's resolution (to envy less). I was trying to figure out if I would post more about suffering long in kindness or if I should shift to an initial examination of envying less. Suddenly, something struck me as I looked at how my resolution for the year was constructed - and I simply want to share it now, before I start to analyze the application of it each month.

Over the last two years, I have grown to understand that the Sermon on the Mount is a grand encapsulation of the journey to godliness and perfection - completion, wholeness and full development. It is a delineation of the central characteristics of godliness, but it also is an explanation of the process by which such characteristics are internalized in the process of becoming something more than our mortal natures - in the process of developing the proper eternal nature. (I wrote a post about this concept last June 27th entitled, "An Epiphany Regarding 'Ask, Seek, Find' - A Truly Beautiful Message".)

As I remembered this, and as I looked at my resolution for this year, it struck me that 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 is structured according to the same eternal round - that it also shows not only the central nature of godliness but also that it is arranged to show the practical process by which that nature can be internalized to make us Beings better than we naturally are. These verses are a ladder to Heaven, just as the Sermon on the Mount is that same ladder - built slightly differently, but "True" (pointed in the proper direction) in the same way.

As I continue to analyze these verses over the course of this year, I hope that the progressive nature of each manifestation is apparent - and I hope I remember to make that progression clear from one month to the next. The first step in explaining that progression is showing how suffering more in kindness leads to enying less, and I hope to make that connection clear by the end of next month.

No comments: