Are We Nothing?

I’ve been contemplating this scripture the past couple days and after yesterday it seems even more meaningful to me:

1 Corinthians 13:2
“And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.”

It is amazing to me that even if one obtained complete faith to the point of moving mountains the same would still be nothing without charity. That pure love of God that shows no limits and no bounds. That godly compassion that allows us to step outside our box and love all those around us, even those – especially those – that are hard to love is essential to our achieving greatness.

In the moments of aftermath yesterday I was saddened by the speed and criticism that immediately sprang from so many about the efforts of those serving. The blame game runs rampant when tragedies occur. Perhaps it is the small mind’s way of making sense of things I don’t know. But I don’t like it. The only person to blame is the young man who pulled the trigger. What a waste of precious resources to sit around criticizing and blaming others.

Several years ago I read a quote that has remained with me. It was in the book Standing for Something by Gordon B. Hinckley. He was talking of leadership and he shared the need to starve problems and feed solutions. A simple practice that has endless capabilities. I now find myself always asking if I’m feeding the problem or the solution in any given situation, and I strive to be guilty of the latter. As I asked myself this question yesterday it was clear to me that the problem was not only being fed it was the only focus. What a sad waste of resources, time and emotion.

It is a sad reality that within each of us lies good and evil. Our same mouths that speak words of prayer and praise, are capable of beautiful music and poetry are the very same that speak condemnation and criticism, often in unkind and harsh tones. Truly everything does have its opposite. Every day I battle this as a mother wondering if I will every get my tongue and mouth in check. But even then I can look back at that same question of which I’m feeding. If the problems in our lives are bigger than us and the daily battles more powerful than our strength to fight them, perhaps it is time to step back and see where we are expending our valuable energy.

The world I have known has always had opposites. It has always had evil and it has always had good. It’s history is full of sad accounts when evil and tragedy made their mark. It also has many accounts of good though they may not be as well documented or known. I can’t help but sit here today and reflect upon that scripture. If those who have left a mark of evil had known and acquired charity in their lives how different the world would be.

It may seem a stretch to some, but I don’t think world peace is to be found in meetings and treaties. It lies within the hearts of all of us. Those same hearts capable of good and evil. Their strength coming from that which they receive the most nourishment. I don’t know about you, but I sure don’t want to be nothing. Charity is at the top of my list for learning about and acquiring.

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4 comments on “Are We Nothing?

  1. Holly, you are wise beyond your years…

    Awww you’re too kind. πŸ˜‰

  2. Holly,

    All I could do was read Pres. Faust’s General Conference Talk from Sunday morning on forgiveness and the way that the Amish population handled their tragedy. In fact, I’ve read it for the fifth time to erase the hate that I just heard again on the news.

    I am grateful for your perspective today…as I turned off the tv, the radio, and I get ready to turn off the computer.

    Steph

    Yes, appropriate times for such counsel isn’t it? Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I’m glad my perspective was helpful.

  3. “It may seem a stretch to some, but I don’t think world peace is to be found in meetings and treaties. It lies within the hearts of all of us.”

    Doesn’t seem like a stretch to me, Holly. As long as there are those among us who strive to lead lives beyond the apparent mediocrity that seems to present itself in the wake of mass scale tragedies, then there is hope.

    Thank you for reinforcing that this isn’t just possible, but likely. It’s baked into all of us.

    Consider me enlightened and encouraged. Much appreciated (it was an awful time even before the VT tragedy, so every little bit helps.)

    I’m so glad to hear that something was encouraging to you. As one who inspires me all the time that means a lot. πŸ˜‰ I like the concept of it being baked into us, very insightful.

  4. Short but very inspiring post.

    Mike
    http://somethingaboutparenting.typepad.com/

    Thanks Mike. It’s always nice to be inspired and nice to know when you’ve returned the favor.

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