Thursday, October 4, 2012

I'm losing my compassion

I'm afraid I'm losing my compassion for people.  People in general, not people individually.  I've still maintained a fair amount of compassion for my friends and family, although in some cases even this is becoming difficult.

I'm afraid my heart is becoming hardened to people out there because of the attitude presented by the "so called" poor.  The date for my tenants to move out came and went.  My husband's blood pressure is dropping a bit, and that's a good thing.  The eviction is in the court system and it will happen at the snail's pace our court system functions at.  I just have to share this one thing.  They told us it is not their fault they haven't moved out.  It's not their fault.  They don't have a truck.  Nope, they don't have a truck so they can't move out.  Yep, not their fault. 

Evidently the only people able to move in this country are people that have trucks.  (my tenants, evidently, have never heard of UHAUL)  These people kill me.  (we are still talking about a family consisting of a grandmother, her two sons, ages 25 and 27, and a granddaughter.  what is up with these people?)

My compassion began waning while I was in the scary bible study with the church ladies.  There was the one "poor me" church lady that constantly had her hand out.  Her hand was out for money, for gas, for ANYTHING you could give her, but mostly, for money.  I tried to have compassion, but her attitude exuded, you should give me whatever I ask for because you have more than I have and I want what you have and I don't think I have to work or save or anything, you should just give it to me.  It was so frustrating to try to walk alongside her in her lean years.  She still wanted to go out to restaurants instead of cooking at home.  She wanted to stay home with her children and not work.  She wanted everything she wanted right now and didn't want to wait to earn or save for it.  When I loaned her items she asked for, she didn't return them.  She had to be asked over and over to give them back.  Her childish attitude did not match her adult body and adult responsibilities.

So, my level of compassion for "the poor" is waning.  I need help.

I'm seeking help and the best place I know to look is God's word.  I know God has a lot of compassion for people.  He had a super amount of compassion for the Israelites.  They moaned and groaned and even made a golden calf while they were in the desert and God was leading them (albeit in a 40 year trek) to the promised land.  I'm seeking help.

After searching God's word, I am, mostly, convicted.

Romans 12:15  Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.
I can do this.  I struggle with how to weep for those who want what I have because they think it's not fair that I have more than they have.

Proverbs 19:17  He who is gracious to a poor man lends to the LORD, And He will repay him for his good deed.
Wow, this is a good one.  This one makes me remember I need to wait on the Lord and not take matters into my own hands.  This one is also one that makes me want to find another word for poor in this country.  I am happy to give to the poor.  I'm not quite as gracious to the entitled. 

1 Corinthians 12:25-26  that there should be no division in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.
This one makes me think of the church lady.  I think this was the one she used to rationalize asking every member of the church for money.  I think this was the one used to rationalize asking the church to give them a low interest loan.  I want to care for members of the body.  It just makes it hard to give when you watch some take advantage.

1 Peter 3:8  To sum up, let all be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit;
This on is very convicting.  I'm taping it to my computer monitor right now.

Psalms 35:13-14  But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth; I humbled my soul with fasting; And my prayer kept returning to my bosom. I went about as though it were my friend or brother; I bowed down mourning, as one who sorrows for a mother. But whoever has the world's goods, and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? 
This is love.  How can anyone behold a brother in need and close his heart and say they have the love of God in him.  These verses are beginning to break my heart.

Luke 10:33  But a certain Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion,
And this is how I am to respond.

Job 30:25  Have I not wept for the one whose life is hard? Was not my soul grieved for the needy?
The needy will grieve my soul.  When I think of the hunger of my fellow man, the food in my mouth will taste bitter.

Psalm 51:1  Be gracious to me, O God, according to Thy loving kindness; According to the greatness of Thy compassion blot out my transgressions.
I will treat others as I wish to be treated, with kindness and compassion.

Psalm 111:4  He has made His wonders to be remembered; The LORD is gracious and compassionate.
God is gracious and compassionate.  I want to be a reflection of him.

Thanks for taking this walk through God's word and seeking his thoughts on compassion with me.  I know he is faithful and will continue to break my heart for his people.  I know those people that have taken advantage of the system and have a lazy disposition and a hand out and don't want to work will be punished.  My attitude can still be compassionate and that compassion doesn't mean I have to give to the entitled.  I need to keep an open heart to the needy and give obediently and pray that God sends my money and my efforts to the ones that truly needs help.

I'm linking with Emily at Imperfect Prose on Thursday

610.  God's word available to me at any time
611.  Another opportunity to learn to trust God more deeply
612.  Learning more about prayer by praying for my tenants
613.  Learning more about prayer by praying for the church lady


  1. we cannot control people or events or much of anything really..we can only control our reaction.
    good luck with everything going on.

  2. I struggle with some of these thoughts, too. Awhile back, I participated in a group whose mission was to be the hands and feet of Christ. Some of the members of this group got particularly involved/entangled w/ some people who lived a good distance away and very much had their hands out. I watched my fellow group members give and serve the point of (in my mind) enabling. When they started to back away in certain respects, the people (who had become accustomed to their help in terms of cooking, cleaning, driving, paying bills, etc.) were quick to resent their lessened involvement. I, personally, did not see that the people changed or became closer to Christ as a result of my fellow group members' efforts. And part of me thinks: well, it's not up to me to decide who's really poor; who really needs help; who's really softening, inside. But the other part of me thinks: yes, it is. Because I have a finite amount of every type of energy and resource, and IF I can sow seed that will yield a harvest, isn't that what I should be doing? It's like having a cup of water when I have plants, in my flower bed, that are dying. Isn't it better to dump the water on the plants than down the drain? Doesn't it matter what I'm doing w/ the resources w/ which I've been blessed? So in my mind, at least, it's my responsibility to be a responsible steward. I don't give money to people on the side of the road; I just don't. I don't know what they're going to do w/ it. For the same reasons, I don't give money to a young person in my family who has a partying mentality: even when it's her birthday. But I will happily feed any of these people. I think the key is to give. I don't think there's anything wrong w/ making thoughtful decisions in terms of to whom we give (especially monetarily), or why. If we take what we have and throw it away, we're guilty, I think of squandering what ultimately belongs to the Lord.

  3. i think sometimes our lens clouds us to others...we see one that is more entitled than poor and then we begin to look at them all that way...or maybe someone close to us is that way so we assume it of all...try serving at a soup keeps me humble to be among those that are truly poor...and hear their stories...

  4. how wise to search the scriptures to know how to respond. : )

  5. Well, I am in the same boat, my friend.  In Proverbs 1:3 it talks about wise thoughtfulness, I think that's what we need, godly wisdom to know who, how and when to help others.

  6. I admire you for sharing all this. It's a very real struggle that all Christians have to think about.  There is a good book called BOUNDARIES by Henry Cloud.  He talks about how to set boundaries in all situations in our life from a Christian perspective.  Discernment is needed for sure.  Scripture also says that he who does not work will not eat.  We don't want to enable people who are choosing laziness, but there are truly "poor" in society that we must help.  Jesus told us the poor would always be w/ us.  For me, I've found each circumstance needs to be weighed, and then I pray about what to do.  Sometimes, the person is not mine to help.  For people on the street, I try to bring them a sandwich, but don't give money.  I have peace about that.  I've learned to say 'no', too (from the book) and that helps.  It's important that we all think about this...we are creating a more dependent society, which is going to be our downfall if we stay on that path.   

  7. I feel your dilemma to my bones and beyond,  friend.I think some of the behaviors you speak of are a kind of
    soul poverty that can be healed only with a change of vision
    rather than an actual empowering to see
    differently rather than anything monetary.  I think enabling a professional victim isn't the same thing
    as caring for the poor.....maybe that is what twists our soulsinto frustration.  In all of the struggle,  don't forget to have compassion
    on yourself as well:)

  8. I struggle here too.  I think that people should have their crap together and I have no respect for them when they don't.  Of course my idea of having their "crap together" is subjective and I get in trouble all the time.  Thanks for the great verses I need them.

  9. Yep.
    (I'm trying to catch up here!)


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