Sunday, March 20, 2011

Compassion? Or a Savior Complex?

In light of all that's happening in Japan, I'm going to run this post again. After reading certain blog posts by mega-compassionate people, I needed this reminder for myself.


I knew a Christian blogger who said he had so much compassion for the poor, hopeless people of this world that it made him sad, like, all the time. 

He cried for poor, lonely people, prayed for them, of course, too. And over time I watched him become, well, paralyzed. He felt so sad, so much 'compassion,' that he became overwhelmed and could think of little else besides how vast numbers of people are being mistreated and having hard lives. He became mad at Christians who didn't do enough and at his own limitations, he stopped blogging and ended up helping no one.

Another Christian, a woman author, says she feels great compassion for single mothers having rough times and teens, too, who are wandering so far from God. She often meets these people, and unlike the man above, at least she gives to them what God nudges her to give, be it money, gifts or just the right words. So that's wonderful, but she always feels it's never enough. And the majority of her years she's spent in sadness--if she's not grieving emotionally for herself, she's grieving for/with others in trouble. Usually both simultaneously.

If you've read here very long you know I'm a big proponent of balance. 

And in everything there is balance. There are seasons for everything--a time to weep with those who weep--yes! But that season is not 24/7 all the days of our lives, for the Bible also adds there's a time to rejoice, dance and praise God with joyful songs and to see good days. 

The Bible also says His joy is our strength.

True, godly hope--I think that's what may be missing in the hearts of those sad, 24/7 weepy Christians who say they're just extra compassionate. I mean, godly hope is full of anticipation! Pray some prayers with godly hope and you'll anticipate their being answered. To you, it will only be a matter of time. And in the meantime?  That anticipation of what God will do can give you much hope.

And that is what matters most--that I believe God will save the day, heal the hurt, become the friend who sticks closer than a brother. Not that I rush around, by myself, trying to save everybody and be the all in all for the whole silly Planet. Uh, no. (That may sound funny, but I've known people who believe they are called to do that.)

If God's asking us to help three people, then He'll equip us to help three people. But we're being foolish if we allow ourselves to throw up our hands, to become paralyzed because we're unable to help three million souls, instead. Or the whole neighborhood, the entire town or neighborhood.

If we obey God's requests, He'll give us the joy of obedience which then becomes additional strength to do and complete His will. He'll also give us as much hope and anticipation as we need while we wait.

No really, He will!


"Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." ... Matthew 11:29

The goal is never that we become anyone's everything. That goal is God's, alone.

"The joy of the Lord is your strength." ... Neh. 8:10


Unknown said...

That was quite a piece you wrote Debra and i full agree. I really feel sorry for miserable people who think the world is supposed to be on their shoulders. Sure I feel compassion for the people of Japan, New Zealand, etc and prayers go forth but I don't let it destroy me either. Balance is really important and we just have to trust God to equip us for whatever he wants up to do.

Thickethouse.wordpress said...

Well said, Debra....I completely agree with this. We do need balance. We can't let our emotional selves become so overwhelmed that we cannot help anyone, not even ourselves. That's certainly not what God wants of anyone.

I am so glad you're back blogging which I just discovered yesterday......Your posts do speak to me loudly and clearly.

Keeping you and your family in my prayers, and hoping you will pray for me, too.