If there’s a difference between the occasional act of charity and the lifestyle of compassion, how does the compassionate person think?
- Compassion thinks long-term vs. quick fix. Quick fixes usually don’t. Band-aid solutions are typically engaged in an effort to justify oneself; they don’t spring from a deep value for all people.
- Compassion thinks today vs. someday. Those who postpone serving others usually end up doing so indefinitely. There’s never quite enough.
- Compassion thinks people vs. price. Multiple factors affect every purchase decision. Compassion views the purchase’s impact on people as the real cost.
- Compassion thinks deeply. It does the research. It finds the creative solution.
Think deeply about long-term solutions that begin today and value people. Got it? (Now stop thinking and act).
One week into Lent ’10 and I’m feeling it. As I have a couple times in the past, I’m observing Lent by fasting all liquids except water. While this specific fast has consistently served as an effective, constant reminder of my primary need for Jesus, I don’t remember it being this uncomfortable.
I’ve realized, this past week, how often I drink and how comforting drinking is for me. I typically drink 2 – 4 cups of tea and 2 – 3 glasses of juice every day. And I enjoy an occasional non-fat, decaf mocha.
I’m feeling uncomfortable, which is an uncommon feeling for me.
What’s the difference between an occasional act of charity and a lifestyle of compassion?
I think it comes down to one core conviction which has it’s roots in the first five words of the Bible: In the beginning God created… And a few sentences later (v. 27): God created people in His image.
Thousands of years later Jesus puts this core conviction into practice by affirming that all of scripture boils down to loving God and people. He then stresses that “people” actually means all people by telling a confrontational story about a man who is beaten and left to die but rescued by an unlikely hero. A compassionate man. A man who values all people as created in God’s image.
There’s the guy who chips-in for the occasional charity golf game. And then there’s the guy whose whole life is characterized by compassion.
One guy is looking for justification. The other values all people as created in the image of God.