Thursday, May 7, 2009

Selective Compassion

How is the homeless guy down the street any different than the man lying in the road in Ethiopia?

My heart has become hardened and selectively compassionate. I drive by a man holding a sign and my heart starts to justify looking the other way. I think, "He's lazy."
"If I give him money he'll just buy drugs or a bottle of liquor." "Why won't he find work?" "I bet he has a place to live and is just wanting a free ride".

These are just some of the thought that race through my heart as I try to avoid eye contact.

The thing is- I used to be him. I was homeless for a time. I fit all the stereotypes. Did my choices/circumstances make me any less in need of compassion?

What about the man lying on the street in Ethiopia.

Do his circumstances make him more worthy of my compassion? Why is it easier for me to show Christ's love to him? Somehow do I feel like he's more worthy? Maybe I feel he didn't have the opportunities the other man had. Maybe he's living generational poverty and was born in to his circumstances.

If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land that the LORD your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother." Deuteronomy 15:7

Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor
will himself call out and not be answered.

Proverbs 21:13

If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth." 1 John 3:17-18

The truth is neither is more "deserving" of my compassion. If I look into both of their eyes- I will see the face of God looking back at me.

I must live a compassionate life- Not selectively, but completely and pleasing to my Father who loved me and shined His face of compassion on me.


Anonymous said...

What a great post! Everyone is worthy of compassion. I'm glad that's the way God operates or I'd be in trouble!

Salzwedel Family said...

Beautiful post. Thanks for this reminder.

Adam said...

I love you my loving wife!

P.S. When did Jesus come back?
How unfair I thought we were all going to know at the same time . . .

crispy said...

You have such a tender heart. =)

Laura said...

Oh man, Steffany! You are so right and I know exactly what you battle when you come along those people. Some that take advantage make it hard for a few that really need help.