To be Christlike, what an interesting concept. For one to become more like Christ, is to help one to become more perfect. Perfect through Christ. Within the LDS Guide to the Scriptures under the Pauline Epistles there is a section that discusses Paul’s epistle to the Colossians. “As a result of a report that the Colossian Saints were falling into serious error. They believed that perfection came by the careful observance of outward ordinances alone rather than the development of Christlike character.”
Taking a closer look into what Paul says within his epistle to the Colossians, in Colossians 3:1-4 It states;
“1. If ye be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ stitch on the right hand of God.
2. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the Earth.
3. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
4. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.”
To become more like Christ, first of all we need to give up ourselves. Meaning, to not worry about ourselves with things here on Earth. To worry about things of God and His Gospel, and not of the World. One of my favorite saying is to be in the world, but not of it. We need to always be thinking of Christ and His Gospel to become better.
Now the fact that Paul originally wrote this epistle to rebuke the Colossians to righteousness, versus 5-9 talk about how we need to put off the things of the world which are among Fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, covetousness, (idolatry) and much much more.These things bring the Wrath of God. Instead, we should become a “New man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him” (or in other words, be Baptized in the manner of Christ was Baptized. Under Proper authority, in immersion of Water).
In which we then need to follow what versus 12-14 heed us to do. “12. Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering; 13. Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. 14. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.”
What I really what to focus on here, is the Christlike Attribute of Charity. If we look at what verse 14 is saying, in Paul’s words Charity is the bond of perfectness. Meaning, through Charity we can become the most like Christ. One of my absolute favorite scriptures from one of the books of scripture in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, The Book of Mormon, is Moroni 7:42-47;
“42. Wherefore, if a man have faith he must needs have hope; for without faith there cannot be any hope.
43. And again, behold I say unto you that he cannot have faith and hope, save he shall be meek, and lowly of heart.
44. If so, his faith and hope is vain, for none is acceptable before God, save the meek and lowly in heart; and if a man be meek and lowly in heart, and confesses by the power of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ, he must needs have charity; for if he have not charity he is noting; wherefore he must needs have charity.
45. And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, skeet not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in inquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
46. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail—
47. But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.”
Charity is amazing, it is something that we all need to have, it is one of the greatest qualities that I personally believe that Christ carried himself. What are some forms of Charity you ask? Think along the lines of service. That is the greatest form of all, but when you think of service, don’t just think about helping the old lady cross the street, but think of mowing the lawn for the neighbor, singing for the patients at the cancer institute at Christmas time, doing what your mother asks with a kind attitude when she asks, helping your younger siblings out instead of joking with them, being kind to the bullied kid at school, be a friend to the man with a disability you find in the park. There are honestly so many different things that service, and that Charity cover.
I want to give two personal examples of Charity that I have seen in my own life within the past year. First of all, my Mother. Wow, what she has done is amazing. Around memorial day of last year, my Grandpa Whitney Hale came to live with us at our home, because he was just getting too old and unstable to be living on his own. We did not want him passing away in a rest home, so we took him in our home. I will say, it was very hard, we had to change a lot of things that went on in our home. Things like the food we ate, the times we woke up (sometimes), when we could leave the home, when we had to return home, being prepared for different types of emergencies, and getting to know a lot of new medical personal that came along with having grandpa live with us. The biggest changes were not for us, but for my dear Mother, she had to literally change her entire life, just to situate having Grandpa live with us. Mom is a Saint, she did anything and everything to help Grandpa! Grandpa really needed a lot of attention, he was beginning weaken starting from day one. He really needed help to get around the house. He had fallen several times previously to moving in to our house, because as a 96 year old man, his legs were beginning to fail him. As it was, he was already walking with a walker, and needed a rail to get up out of his seat. Although, I am so proud of him, being able to walk until he was 96 on his own with a walker. When he moved in to our house, he almost immediately stopped walking. He walked for a couple of weeks, from his seat to the bathroom to his seat once again, but in reality he would stand up and sit immediately down on his walker, and we would pull him there. In fact, whenever he would leave his big black comfy chair, she would pull him everywhere. I don’t want to make it sound like we didn’t help at all, we did too, but my Mother just did so much more for her Sweet Father. God bless my dear Mother, who was almost with him all day, every day. She honestly sacrificed so much, not only was it time, but sleep, food, leisure activities, friends, and other things she loved to do. She brought a baby monitor into her room, and his. All throughout the night, my grandpa would call for help, and she would go down and comfort him and help him. She did everything that she could to help my Grandfather be comfortable here living with us. There were times, where he was so sad, because he felt like a burden upon the shoulders of our family esp. my Mother, but she would just comfort him, and let him know he never was. It was hard, and there may have been a few times I heard her think out loud “When will his time come to return and be with his sweet wife?” But never did I hear her complain with all this hard work and Charity she provided while taking care of my Grandpa. How wonderful it is to have such a sweet example in my life.
My second example is even more recent. A Week ago I was in Atlanta, Georgia to be with the Hale Family while my cousin was married for all Eternity. My Sweet innocent aunt was diagnosed with Alzheimers quite a few years back. I have been very surprised to see how fast it actually has attacked her. She still has memory and recognizes people, but it is getting pretty bad. What a humbling experience it was to be there with her family. Her only daughter came two out of the 3 days we spent there to help get her ready for the day, the wedding and the temple. One of her sons was downstairs with us all, when she came down and felt her ear, and thought something was missing, and so without saying a word, he ran upstairs and retrieved a pair of earrings and brought them down to his loving mother. Now the most humbling of all, is her husband. He does the most service. Wow, he has to literally change his life, so that he can accommodate her needs. He is there helping her make food, and doing anything he can. He helps her into the truck, he holds her hand as they go places, and it is just wonderful! His love for her has grown even more throughout the years, and I am sure as the Alzheimers progresses, his Love will grow even more greater for all the Charity and Service he provides her.
Christ said “Charity Suffereth Long” and “Charity never Faileth” 1Corinthians 13:4;8
Through simple acts or through greater acts, Charity can bring the Spirit upon us in our lives. It helps us to live more like Jesus Christ, and will help us personally to be happier. It may be so hard on us at the time, but think of the Blessings our trials have passed, and I promise that if you look back on this hard event, you will not regret it, or despise it, but you will be so grateful for the experience and want to grow more by showing more Charity to all.
Some day, I hope that I can become more charitable like the wonderful examples I have in my life.
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen. -Moroni 7:48