Compassion is, as defined by the merriam-webster dictionary, sympathetic consciousness of others' distress with a desire to alleviate it.
As humans, and especially as Christians, we should be full of compassion. This comes first by realizing humanities' dire condition. We are each born with a sinful nature. We are separated from God. We *need* a Savior and the *only* One Who could be that is God Himself. Jesus Christ's perfect life, His death and His conquering of death with His resurrection is our only hope. He is the *only* way to the Father. We can be saved...even the most wretched of people can come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Believing in the good news of Jesus Christ and repenting of our sinful behavior (which happens when a heart truly longs to be with Christ) is our salvation! We are to spread the gospel in love....raising our children with a gospel centered mindset as well as sharing the gospel with others. Physical suffering is wretched...but the loss of one's soul is worse. You cannot live out the good news. You must proclaim it...and your life of good fruit will reinforce your beliefs to a dying world. It will draw people to Christ.
With a heart full of compassion, we share the gospel and then we attend to the physical needs of the suffering. Poverty, disease, hunger...there are needs beyond imagination. We live in plenty. My home is simple and in much need of repair and renovations. But the Lord has provided abundantly for us. We are warm when it is cold outside. We have food to fill our stomachs. We have Bibles to soak in His Word. We have clothes to cover our bodies. We have the ability to educate our children. We have soft mattresses and warm blankets to sleep with. We have clean, running water to drink and bathe (many do not). We have vehicles to transport us from one place to another. So despite the fact that our government would put us in the category of *low-income*, we are truly wealthy. We do not need a thing...not one single thing.
And then you look around you or around the world and know that there are millions of people living on barely anything. People earn less in one day than the price of what people will pay for a coffee! As Christians, we are to tend to the needs of those with less. We can do so locally and also by sponsoring a child through Compassion. My family and I have decided to do this and are sponsoring an adorable little girl through Compassion. If we, on the *low income* category of our country can do this...then most anyone can!
I am not one to trust big companies...I must admit. I have been weary of sponsoring a child as I fear that quite often, the money gets sucked into other places (or the pockets of greedy men or women). I spoke with a lady who has been sponsoring a child for over 10 years (and actually just came back from visiting that child halfway around the world!). She is a woman who would not put up with hanky-panky nonsense happening with money that was meant for a needy child. She is a huge advocate for Compassion and saw what her donations did to help that child. You can read more about their financial integrity HERE.
I trust that God is sovereign over all things...that is where my trust lies. Not in men...but in God. I trust that when we send this money and prayer over this little girl that we are sponsoring, that God is in control of it and He will properly care for her. I have *such* comfort in that! So, we have committed to sponsoring this sweet girl for as long as we can afford it....which I trust to be until she no longer needs the help, for God is gracious and good.
I am not saying that you *must* sponsor a child. I know so many who give of their money, time and energy to children (and adults) who are struggling right in our own areas. But, if the Lord lays it on your heart, I pray that you will consider this as well. There are children who have been waiting months upon months for a sponsor. What a beautiful thing it is to give.
No matter what you do....do it all to the glory of God. May He be glorified in our giving. May lives be touched, improved and brought to the feet of Jesus.
When we give, we are to do so quietly and not announce it from the rooftops (Matthew 6:3)...and I pray that my sharing this post is not going against that. I only mean to draw more people to the act of giving...and to show that you don't need to be America's version of wealthy to help others. People *need* the gospel...and they need our compassion for physical needs. Sometimes, it takes someone talking about it to stir our hearts a little...that is my intention here. May your heart be stirred and encouraged to give to any who need it...near or far....all done out of love and a selfless, Christ-honoring heart!
In love and tenderness,
*This post was written straight from my heart. Other than sponsoring a child, I have no affiliation with Compassion International. :)