[char-i-tee]-nounIn the Vulgate (the Latin version of the Bible, prepared chiefly by Saint Jerome at the end of the 4th century a.d., and used as the authorized version of the Roman Catholic Church) charity (from the Latin word caritas) was used as translation of the Greek word agape (love) to avoid the sexual suggestion of the Latin word amor. The Vulgate also sometimes translated agape by the Latin word dilectio, "to esteem highly, to love."
1. generous actions or donations to aid the poor, ill, or helpless
2. something given to a person or persons in need; alms
3. a charitable act or work
4. a charitable fund, foundation, or institution
5. benevolent feeling, esp. toward those in need or in disfavor
6. leniency in judging others; forbearance
7. Christian love; agape
[a·gape]-nounWhen agape is translated by charity it means either (1) a disposition in man which may qualify his own character (1 Cor 8:1) and be ready to go forth to God (1 Cor 8:3) or to men; or (2) an active and actual relation with other men, generally within the church (Col 3:14; 1 Thess 3:6; 2 Thess 1:3; 1 Tim 1:5; 4:12; 1 Pet 4:8; 5:14), but also absolutely and universally (1 Cor 13). In the earlier epistles it stands first and unique as the supreme principle of the Christian life (1 Cor 13), but in the later writings, it is enumerated as one among the Christian virtues (1 Tim 2:15; 2 Tim 2:22; 3:10; Tit 2:2; 2 Pet 1:7; Rev 2:19).
1. the love of God or Christ for humankind
2. selfless love of one person for another without sexual implications (especially love that is spiritual in nature)
3. a religious meal shared ("love feast" - held in connection with the Lord's Supper) as a sign of love and fellowship
[NETBible]Two days ago I wired money to my friend David in Uganda, as an act of charity. As I was coming out of the bank a woman was "begging" for money - money, she said, she needed to buy food for her eight year old son. I recognized this lady. I've seen her begging elsewhere, and even bought her a bagel and a bottle of water once outside a Tim Hortons. I asked her a couple of questions about her son and then told her I'd buy him (and her) a slice of pizza if she was interested. She said that would be fine but she'd have to keep it with her for a bit.
Three doors down from my bank is a grocery store. I told the woman to wait and I'd be back in a few minutes. I went into the grocery store and purchased two $10 food vouchers. When I came out the woman was waiting for me. I handed her one of the vouchers and asked her to make sure her son had food to eat. I went to my car and put the second voucher in the visor - for next time.
And then I had a thought. I said to myself, "It's only money!" And we all know that money comes, and money goes. And money is not really that important in the big scheme of things.
But charity, now that's important.
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
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.
And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.