"With hope comes the will to fight, with faith comes the strength to fight, with charity comes the reason to fight." - A friend of mine
How many times have we read the verse, "And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity" from I Corinthians 13:13 and thought 'that's nice' then continued reading on? How many times have we glossed over those words and not stopped to give thought to their depth and meaning and importance? I know I've been guilty of doing so and it wasn't until a friend and I were talking over this very verse that the importance of what was being stated really hit me.
Why faith, hope, and charity? Why not peace, joy, and righteousness? Why not any number of spiritual gifts we are given through Christ? Because this: faith gives us the strength to fight, hope gives us the will to fight, and charity gives us the reason to fight. This life we live is a fight. We fight the fight of faith, fight for the good of our family and friends, fight against ourselves, fight against our old nature, fight against temptations, and fight to live for Christ. It is a spiritual battle in which we live and it is crucial that in such an on-going battle, we do not go without faith and hope for in them lies the will and strength to keep fighting.
But charity is the greatest because in charity we are given the reason to fight. It gives us the 'why and wherefore' behind everything we do. Through charity we can walk beside a friend who is suffering. Through charity we can rejoice at the good fortune of others and weep with those in sorrow. Through charity we are able to physically and visibly demonstrate the love, care, and compassion that Christ has toward all people. Charity is far more than donating to a food pantry. Charity is the deepest, most pervasive form of love in which we can dwell.