Why should you care?

~ adapted from Lecture V of Charity and Its Fruits
“Charity disposes us to do good,” Part 2
by Jonathan Edwards

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self…

1 Corinthians 13:4a (The Message)

The most essential thing in Christian love is the desire for, or delight in, doing good to others. This is how you most closely imitate “the eternal love and grace of God, and the dying love of Christ.”

In part 1 of Lecture V, Jonathan Edwards talked about the what, who and how of “love is kind.”

Here in part 2, he talks about the why. why should you care

Why should you care about others?

1. Because it is a great honor
To be used an instrument of good in the world is very honorable. Abraham was blessed to become a blessing (Genesis 12:2). When you minister to others for their good, you are a light shining in their world.

2. Because it’s how you want to be treated
Do to others as you would have them do to you. “Here is a simple, rule-of-thumb guide for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you, then grab the initiative and do it for them” (Matthew 7:12, The Message).

“What we thus approve we should exemplify in our own conduct.”

3. Because God has been most kind to you
He gives you new mercies every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23). He gives you both temporal gifts and eternal gifts, which are of more value than all the kingdoms of the earth, even the gift of his very Son.

4. Because you will be rewarded for it
God promises to show you mercy if you are merciful (Psalm 18:25). And He works it so that you receive far more joy in giving than in getting (Acts 20:35).

“He that gives bountifully, is more blessed in the bountiful gifts that he parts with, than he that receives the bounty.”

As you care for others, your actions will show it.
Are they?

“In every case nothing can be plainer, than that the proper and conclusive evidence of the will, is the act; and the act always follows the will, where there is power to act.”

Today, make it your will to act.

* * *
COMING NEXT:
Lecture VI: Love does not envy

Previous chapters
Laurie’s notes, Lecture V, Part 2

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