What exactly do we mean by Self-giving Christianity?
The Christian faith in itself is a call to replicate the life of Jesus Christ. The self-giving part comes in when we genuinely take up our crosses like HE did and follow suit.
Good works are charitable actions that we take up for the love of God and the well-being of others.
Catholic culture defines it as morally good acts that, when performed in the state of grace, merit supernatural reward. As the Bible clearly showed, Jesus was all about the work of The Father. Hence, HE went about doing good (Acts 10:38).
I personally like how the Catholic faith categorizes these works of mercy into two- Corporal and Spiritual works of mercy.
The Corporal works of mercy as referenced in Matthew 25:31-46, embodies good works that are channeled to the physical benefit of others. These include:
- To feed the hungry.
- To give water to the thirsty.
- To clothe the naked.
- To shelter the homeless.
- To visit the sick.
- To visit the imprisoned, or ransom the captive.
- To bury the dead.
Spiritual works of mercy as the name implies cater to the spiritual needs of others. These include:
- To instruct the ignorant.
- To counsel the doubtful.
- To admonish the sinners.
- To bear patiently those who wrong us.
- To forgive offenses.
- To comfort the afflicted.
- To pray for the living and the dead.
See More: 7 Flaws That Can Frustrate Good Works
One thing that is evident in these works is the self-giving trait behind them. The above listed and indeed other non-categorized works like supporting the church, volunteer and non-profit works are expected to be selfless and done to the glory of God.
These are works that cannot be quantified by canal measures. It is not by our might and power but by the spirit of the Most High God. Our work as Christians is to love God enough to obey and show up for the work. The rest is in HIS hands to perfect.
The progress of the Body of Christ demands human efforts but not dependent on our mortal works. James 2:14-17 clearly let us know that faith without works is dead. However, it is the Blood of Jesus Christ that has secured the salvation which we enjoy and preach.
God is a generous God. That is why HE has invited us to partake in these good works of love. Our part is to be used as instruments to sow the seeds of love, peace and conversion in the hearts of all men. We must understand this as we begin to mature in our Christian faith.
“God has made us what we are, and in our union with Christ Jesus he has created us for a life of good deeds, which he has already prepared for us to do”- Ephesians 2:10
There’s always something you can do to make life better for the other person. It could be as simple as a smile, an advice, encouragement, showing kindness, courtesy and politeness to people who may not even deserve it. It could be standing up for the truth and defending the course of the oppressed. The substance in doing all these is seeing the person of Our Lord Jesus in those you render these works for.
“Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me”- Mathew 25: 40
Good works done with the right motive is the purest revelation of the spirit of God living us. It is LOVE in ACTION.