Monday, May 16, 2011

Tough Stuff

"Jesus teaches that human need must always be helped; that there is no greater task than to relieve someone's pain and distress and that the Christian's compassion must be like God's-- unceasing. Other work may be laid aside but the work of compassion, never."
William Barclay

I read this and I was like, YES! That's it! Other than leading people to salvation through Jesus, compassion is the KEY to the kingdom. If we amass huge fortune, but help no one, what good have we done?

If we work very hard and advance ourselves, and educate ourselves, and grow in mind, body and spirit, but cannot improve the life of another, what have we accomplished?

I know this is a very familiar piece of Scripture. Try to read it with fresh eyes.

"If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.".... And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." I Corinthians 13:1-3, 13

Ya know, I keep hearing about churches that are being run as businesses instead of bodies of Christ. Yes, there ARE good churches out there. And if you belong to one, thank God for it. But there are many more that have lost their way. They are worried about the latest technology, the best sound system, the most dynamic speaker, the biggest bank account, the most people.

My sister had gallbladder surgery, as many of you know. Her daughter Jessica called her former pastor, the man that actually married Jess and Daniel. She needed to talk to someone because she was scared. She also wanted to use the church for a bake sale. One day she walked in to check on Lori, watched her pass out on the bed, and thought she was dead. Lori woke to Jessie slapping her face and trying to wake her up. She was very upset, as you can imagine.

After like a week, someone on the staff called and told her she couldn't just "talk" to the pastor. She told them of some of their needs, and the man's reply was "there are a lot of families in need. We can't help them all."

That's the short version, trust me. I was so angry. I wrote the pastor of that church a letter and told him exactly what I thought of the situation Gave him my e-mail address and welcomed any response he may have.

It doesn't matter how much you can offer. Everyone can offer a little. Can you imagine if every single person you know helped one person a day? The whole world would get their needs met.

But we don't. We sit on our collective hands and worry about what people might think if they saw us in a particular part of town, or if we gave a ride to a stranger. I'm not asking anyone to take risks they are uncomfortable with, but to just open their eyes and REALLY look at their surroundings.

Hebrews 13:2 "Do not forget or neglect or refuse to extend hospitality to strangers [in the brotherhood--being friendly, cordial, and gracious, sharing the comforts of your home and doing your part generously], for through it some have entertained angels without knowing it."

That's from the Amplified Bible. I usually don't use that version, but I really liked the specifics of this verse. Just think about it. Get out of your comfort zone. You may have the ONE THING that someone else needs. If you never offer, you'll never know.


Kim @ Stuff could... said...

I agree, I love to help those in that part of town. I really believe in compassion?? Love this post!

Rachel said...

Compassion is lacking in so many people these days. Many suffer hardships through no fault of their own, others are to blame for what might come their way. But without help from others and second, third, and sometimes endless chances where would we be!!!

Patty Ann said...

Totally agree with this today!! I also think it is important to remember that we don't have to change the whole world, just our own little part of it. We can make a difference.

CoconutPalmDesigns said...

Great post. Nice pastor/Church! I'm curious, did he respond to your email?

Cheers :-)
- CoconutPalmDesigns