This past week, I've been thinking a lot about love. Part of it probably came from getting my baby's crib set up, but I have just been pondering what it means to truly love as Christ did. Then I read this post on Amy's blog and I found myself vigorously nodding along as I read it. Love is the single most important feeling and action we can have in this life.
Today in church, I was very moved by woman who taught a lesson on charity. We read a few scriptures, and discussed what we thought charity was. We noted how 1 Corinthians 13 talks about one having faith to remove mountains, but without charity, they are nothing.
I was hit with how IMPORTANT it is to love AS CHRIST LOVED- with no judgement, condemnation, or selfish motivation.
The woman who taught the lesson told us that she had done a study for her master's thesis (in psychology) on the correlation between happiness and service. In her mind, the two should have correlated perfectly, and she was somewhat surprised that they didn't.
Later, in her doctorate program, she did another study for her dissertation to see why happiness and service correlated for some and not for others. She told us that she had randomly selected 184 stay-at-home moms and asked them to keep a journal everyday for a week. At the start of the day, they were to write their plan and schedule and at the end of the day write what they ACTUALLY did and how they felt about it.
I could go into all the interesting details, but in short: the conclusions of the study found the women who were focused on THOSE THEY WERE SERVING (be in their family, community, etc) were happy when they served, and those who were more focused on themselves did not find the happiness in serving others.
Obviously, there needs to be "me time" for these mothers and they should not just be all-consumed with everyone but themselves. But how many times do we put ourselves ahead of those who are most important? How often do we forget to love AS CHRIST LOVED and love instead as it is convenient for us?
The point is, I am so far from perfecting the attribute of charity, but feel that it really is the key to happiness. It never fails.