The ever greater need for compassion

My heart is both heavy and burdened today by many things going on. The earthquake in Nepal is truly a tragedy and anytime something like this happens, it generates heaviness due to the numbers of people impacted. I know many Christians who refuse to even pray for situations such as this because it took place in a non-Christian nation. I know many other Christians whose attitude is one of “they had it coming” because they were not Christian. This same attitude manifested itself in the USA after Katrina when many Christians refused to help because of a mistaken belief that every person impacted by the storm was a horrible sinner and the storm was God punishing them.

The callousness and hardheartedness manifested by so many Christians is a reflection of a lack of compassion. Two of the worst elements of Christianity are the hypocrites and those who judge everyone but themselves. Actually, these two elements go hand in hand because most Christians who judge are hypocrites. It hurts me deeply that so many of my brothers and sisters in Christ are so perfect that they feel they can pass judgment on saint and sinner alike. It hurts me deeply that so many Christians refuse to part with their hard earned money to help even another believer in need.

Many people know how deep our financial need is due to my long illness last fall. For the most part, our families have been quick to judge and exceptionally slow to help or even pray. I remain deeply hurt by the total lack of any manifestation of compassion from family. When I hear that “family is everything” I just laugh, for my family (both sides) have no desire to do anything but criticize, condemn or complain about the predicaments I get myself into due to my ongoing physical problems. Contrary to what they believe, I do not sit around all day dreaming up new diseases to suffer.

We live in a society of extremely selfish people whose selfishness is brought on by either desperation or greed. For the most part, people have closed up their bowels of compassion to charity, church and even family. I find this both sad and distressing for when the avenues of giving are closed off; the body of Christ goes into a form of septic shock. That which keeps the body of Christ alive and vibrant is the selfless giving by each individual member.

We have a wonderful FM Christian radio station in our area that is 100% listener supported. They have no commercials and pretty much derive all their income from a one week blitz they do each year at the end of April promoting 11,000 people giving $1 per day. Amazingly, they reach their goal every year and for the most part, it is accomplished by people committing themselves to giving $1 per day for one year. It is hard to even buy a cup of coffee for $1 anymore.

Why is it that out of the 1.5 million Christians in our area, only 11,000 can cough up $1 per day to support the single greatest form of outreach in the city? Some of these things certainly make a person stop and think about the attitude the overwhelming number of Christians have in regard to giving. We all know the struggles this site has had in this category and the ever growing number of ministries who are teetering on extinction due to lack of giving.

I wrote a blog last week about not being too proud to say I need you. I am also not too proud to say I love you and not too proud to ask for help. To me, humility is partially defined by the ability to allow others to help you. I pray we all stay humble yet ambitiously compassionate. I pray that we all are not only good stewards of what God has given us but also cheerfully give of what He has blessed us with.

God knows as we grow closer and closer to the end of the age there will be more and more situations where we must decide whether to turn our back on the needs of others or do all we can to help relieve suffering bring a smile to someone's life or help meet a desperate need. I believe there are enough hypocritical and judgmental Christians out there already. May we strive to be loving, giving, compassionate and humble to each other as much as we are able.