Essentially all Christian behavior is based upon the elements of Faith, Hope and Charity. Although the three are connected, Faith and Hope are much more inseparable than Charity. Many think of Charity as giving money or other material things to the needy but in fact, Charity is actually Love !! The giving is as a result of Love, but Charity itself is loving all others. It not only is demonstrated by giving money or other things, but includes such things as forgiveness and tolerance towards all others. Unfortunately, Charity has been interpreted as financial giving and is sometimes used as a tax advantage which is hardly the proper use of this aspect of behavior.
Hope and Faith go together because it is difficult to have Hope without having Faith that what we hope for will be accomplished. We can Hope for anything, but that hope gets interesting if we do not have the faith to expect completion. Hope is essentially a prayer that our Lord will do for us what He has told us that He will do. But the biggest hope that we have, although it is difficult to admit, is that God actually exists. Very few people will acknowledge this doubt, but it is almost impossible not to have it. Now, this is where the Faith comes into play. Faith is going on towards our goals in spite of all doubt. Nothing pleases God more than Faith. The reality is that without it, our sense of Hope would soon diminish along with our Christian behavior. Having Faith that God exists is the only reason that we Hope for anything, but if we were extremely true to our own thoughts, we would recognize that all of us at some time have doubted or at least considered that there is no such Being as God. However, if we look at our lives and consider the amazing events that each of us have experienced, it would be impossible for us not to believe that there is a God. And, a God who loves us and cares for us…………
An excellent post! Charity is so often relegated to terms of monetary or goods donation or the volunteering of time when it would be better to incorporate it as part of one's attitude. It's really looking at people, listening to them, smiling at them and a hundred little gestures that reinforce the idea that they are worthy of love, loved and appreciated. On the grander scale, most definitely it's about possessing an attitude of forgiveness and tolerance as well.
I'm somewhat confused by Christians that tell me they know God exists as on a certain level Knowledge negates the need for Faith. For example, in a base ten numbering system, I know 2+2=4. There's no room for Faith in this equation. I believe God exists, I have evidence that suggests God exists and have personal experiences that support my belief, but at the end of the day I have to set aside the possibility that these are just all a wildly happy set of coincidences and stick my neck out by saying, I have faith. I trust in God. Trust as in 'confident expectation'. Expectation is not certainty. Religion is much richer this way. By saying we 'know' about such things cheapens the value of Faith in my opinion and also makes us look rather foolish to outside observers.