So this is going to be a quick one, and most likely not the most well thought out. I was thinking the other day, about charity, and how many people are too proud to accept it. You know, "I could never accept a handout" type people. Yes, I'm included in that group; receiving gifts is not a strong point of mine. Anyway, I got to pondering the origin of such a response, and quickly decided that it was pride. Kind of a no-brainer there. But then I got to thinking on the origin of "Charity", and, though it may seem blatantly obvious to some, I finally put 2 & 2 together and realized that it was the same word as the "Faith, Hope, and Charity (Love)" Charity. *foreheadpalm*
Derived from the Latin caritas, "Charity" refers to the love and friendship one has for God and, by extension, all of mankind. Though it may not seem so anymore, the origin of charitable donations stemmed from a desire to show love of God and neighbor by giving to those who needed something but did not have the ability to give reimbursement. It was/is a way to show Love.
Back to Pride, now. What does Pride do? Causes us to reject Love. The Proud Man is incapable of accepting or giving Love. Love requires and demands humility, to allow oneself to be open and vulnerable to being known by another. But Pride hinders our willingness to be understood and to understand, even though it is what we as human beings most desperately need and want.
To decline either gifts or help out of Pride is, in essence, to deny Love which is being offered to us. It is to say, "I want love, but on my terms and conditions. Anything which causes me to humble myself, and face humiliation, does not fit the model, and thus I will have no part in it." To be too good for a charitable act is a sign of being too good for Love. Something to keep in mind as we enter this Holiday Season, where Acts of Charity are so often a major focus of this time of year.