As Christians, we often talk a big game. Our pastor stands in front of us weekly and teaches us about things like forgiveness, giving, sin, and compassion…hmmmm….compassion. This word, that we hear often said from the pulpit is one that we often agree with in principle, and even yell “amen” when it is mentioned. We agree because we saw that Jesus thought it was a good idea and scripture, in various places, brings it up. What does it really mean, though?
I think we know the concept. When we feel compassion we feel sorrow or sympathy for misfortune or suffering of another. The ignorance found in our Christian behavior is not, though, in defining this word…but truly living it. I mean, who really cares what it means if it is not displayed? Like anything else in our Christian life, we must get to a point where any particular concept that is vital moves from an academic knowledge to a practical passion that is played out in our lives. What would compassion look like to you if it was passionately pursued in your life?
The Christ-following exercise of compassion is more involved than “giving a cup of cold water in Jesus’ name”. Sure, this is definitely something we are called to do, and it shows a surface level compassion, but in this instance a person could give this cold water and walk away feeling better about themselves. What if true, deep, compassion caused you to change the way you live our lives? What if our schedule, budget, home-life, convenience, and emotional state were uprooted because of our dedication to compassion? God doesn’t call us to be inconvenienced, does He? I submit, yes. Yes He does. Why? I think He called us to disrupt our comfort because, first and foremost, we are not designed for this world. So, if this is true, then there should always be this divine irritation for the routine of this world (which is defined by suffering, sin, erosion, and decay).
One way I have seen this topic on display lately is through a new ministry created by a good friend and his family. It is called “Infinite Blessings“. This family noticed a need for housing, training, and guidance for several teens and young adults who needed extra support to get back on their feet. This includes people who have graduated from the foster care system and have no place to stay, people who have grown up in difficult family situations, and young adults who are temporarily homeless and need a roof over their head. Obviously this is implemented with significant implications to home-life, expenses, and changes family dynamics. Despite this, compassion is being displayed and God is being served in the process. These young people come with pasts, things to learn, and infinite possibilities for their future. I think this is a ministry that needs to be more widely known. Click on the link below and give to this ministry to help them along.
Give with compassion. Give to compassion.
Love you all. Remember you are valued.