Our culture is full of causes.
That’s not necessarily bad.
Someone identifies a need and wants to do something about it. They develop a plan and rally support. People become aware of needs they didn’t know existed and choose to be part of the solution.
Much good is accomplished this way.
But it’s easy to get tunnel vision and only be interested in whatever motivates our own particular passion.
But it’s not really the cause that matters. Compassion matters.
That’s what I want to see – in myself and in others.
Compassion that goes beyond a list of causes.
Each of us is inclined to have heightened awareness of certain situations based on who we are, the experiences we’ve had and the people we’ve met. That knowledge and the passion that accompanies it is from God. We should steward those inclinations to His glory . . . without ignoring or minimizing other needs around us.
So I’d like to offer a few ways to challenge our compassion. :
First, don’t let your compassion be constrained by a cause.
Cultivate a desire to know the variety of needs in our world.
Develop an ability to see those needs.
Practice doing what you can at any moment.
None of us can do everything all the time or even anything every time. But let’s challenge the limits of our current compassion and stretch our hearts to offer what we have when we can.
Second, don’t let your compassion be out of compulsion.
. . .
No one should coerce you into showing compassion. It is meant to be offered willingly without expectation or regret. Whatever it is you have to give . . . a helping hand, a smile, a meal or a monetary gift – share it because you want to bless the receiver regardless of what anyone else thinks.
And third, don’t let your compassion become a competition.
True compassion is a form of worship to God. Our tangible expressions of love for others reflect the love which Christ first showed to us. (1 John 4:19-21)
. . .
Let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.
1 John 3:18
The needs in Jesus’ world were many and varied – just like those in our world. Some people, like Jairus and others in Luke 8, sought Jesus out and begged for His help.
He gave it.
In cases like the Samaritan woman from John 4, Jesus perceived a need and offered to meet it.
Sometimes, others will solicit your compassion. Other times, you will recognize needs that aren’t spoken.
In either case, apply these “don’ts”, and enjoy the opportunity to help.
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Shared at: Grace & Truth,