CALLUSES & CHARITY, Part 1
Grandpa’s hands were calloused. A callous will form over time by repeating the same motion over and over. The job starts out with no irritation, then the irritation starts under the skin, and if the job is repeated continually over time, a callous–a hard layer of skin–will form. A callous is God’s way of building us up to complete the task set before us.
At different times in Grandpa’s life, Grandpa was a rancher, a wrangler to be exact. He had been a soldier at a time in his life when the war was happening. He spent time working on big, heavy equipment as a diesel mechanic too. Then as he retired from working, he had finished his careers as a carpenter and handyman. Grandpa’s hands were toughened, calloused, by years of hard work.
His hands, huge in my memory, were tough as nails. There was always dirt around the nails, his fingers widened by arthritis and hard, manual labor. But when his tough old hand reached out to stroke Grandma’s cheek, grandpa’s hand became soft as a baby’s bottom. These same hardened, calloused hands, always so quick to lend a helping hand by changing a stranger’s tire or stopping to help the neighbors cow out of the fence once again, turned so soft as he held his newest grandchild, just home from the hospital.
Grandpa’s hands were calloused. They were hardened by years of labor…yet, Grandpa’s hands were softened by love each time he reached out to those he loved.
If one of us grandkids told him that his hands were rough, he would hold up his hands and say, “Right! it takes years of hard work and years of wisdom to get here!” Then, he would reach out to gently cup my chin in his hand, or if it was one of my brothers, he gently cuffed their ear.Great charity work is done with a callousness formed by years of labor and gained wisdom. Click To Tweet
CALLOUSES AND CHARITY
So what does charity have to do with calluses?
A callous will form over time by repeating the same motion over and over. The job starts out with every thought to finish, but before long an irritation starts under the skin, and now there is a choice to be made, do you quit or do you continue? Quitting builds up no callous, but if the choice is to continue, over time, a callous–a hard layer of skin–will form.
“A callous is God’s way of building us up to complete the task set before us.”
Charity work requires building calluses through hard, repetitive work. It is by becoming calloused, hard, toughened, by years of hard labor, by gaining wisdom through all those years, that a person learns how to do great charity work.
This nation has become a nation of charity and my concern with all the charity we give is how cheaply we are giving it away. Over the next month, I hope to discuss my concerns of cheap charity. And yes, my callous side will show through. I have spent years doing what I considered good works because I believe the Bible is God’s infallible Word. If it is written, then I believe I should be doing it, so when I read James 2:17 “So also, faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”
So I do works I believe God was leading me to do. I still do the works, I believe these works are a way of acting out my faith in God. What has changed, are the calluses I have built up over time. Do I believe charity is of God, YES! Do I believe Christians should be giving charity? YES! Do I believe Christian charity, for the most part, is given with the wrong motives and in the wrong ways? YES! Do I believe Christians do charity work with the right motives but yield little fruit? YES
Have I got you questioning where this is going? GREAT!
Stay tuned, let’s look at Christian charity and the calluses we should be developing along the way.
Micah 6:8 ESV
He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you?
But to do justice,
and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God.