COMPASSION: Much More Than Pity
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This article is connected to my last article. You may visit it right here: https://read.cash/@GKeep18/a-generous-spirit-works-wonder-114d3c14
It's possible to be a generous person and still lack compassion for others. Here's how it works. Let's say a young man came to your door asking you to purchase some candy or magazine subscriptions for a youth program of some sort, and you know he doesn't live in your neighborhood. Someone has dropped him off to canvas the homes on your street.
Even though this young man is well-mannered and has obviously done a good job of memorizing a little speech, you have doubts. You wonder if you should give him 15$ for the candy or the magazines. But you feel a sense of obligation, or you feel a bit of guilty for turning others the away before, or maybe you feel sorry for the young man-so you reluctantly agree to make a purchase.
If that happens to your life, what would be your choice and stand?
Have you been generous? Perhaps. Did you pity the young man? Maybe. But there's one thing you didn't have, and that's compassion.
Simply giving something away-whether it's your money or your time-doesn't necessarily mean you have compassion for someone else. Never make the mistake of equating generosity with compassion, not the other way around. True compassion means that you see other people the way God sees them. It means looking into the heart of these people that God, for one reason or another, brings into your life.
This people may be complete strangers, or they may be people you've known-or least known about-for years. They all have one thing in common:they are loved equally by God, who made them in His image.
C.S. Lewis wrote that there are no ordinary people. "You have never talked to a mere mortal." Human beings are the only living creatures with an immortal soul. "Next to the Blessed Sacrament," Lewis wrote, "your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses.
Who is your neighbor? Anyone in need, whether the need is physical or spiritual. True compassion reaches out to your neighbor. True compassion reaches out and treats anyone with respect as one of God's beloved. And true compassion expresses itself with a kind word of encouragement, a cup of water, and sometimes the purchase of a box candy.
Let your primary motivation be the still voice of the Holy Spirit.
Don't wait to do one great thing for God in your lifetime. Rather, do many good little things for the sake of His kingdom, which in itself is a great thing.
What happens to you may be an accident. How you respond is not.
Make sure your caring includes doing.
No one does the right thing naturally. It takes effort and practice.
Help the helpless and give to the needy, but do it out of compassion, not pity.
Passion and compassion are closely related.
Feeling good about yourself begins with serving others.
Your care for others is a measure of your greatness.