Having gone through the books “Radical” and “Radical Together” as kind of a crescendo to all the other books I was reading from a missionaries point of view, it’s seems as though my heart will soon burst. That is unless I allow those truths gleaned and revealed in that time to play themselves out the stage of my life. If I don’t allow the compassion that is welling up to be expressed through my life then I shudder to think what I would be doing to the Holy Ghost. I’m not sure grieving is strong enough…
At the same time, I want to go around sharing with others the need to have compassion, not just pity, on those on this earth. Not only in a community setting but in a global setting. Here’s the crux of the whole matter though – when you share the needs of those in need, you often quote statistics, facts, studies, and reports along with showing some sobering pictures and/or videos. The problem with that many times is that we make someone feel guilty. If that guilty feeling leads to nothing than a rash quenching of that guilt by a small donation or a rationalization, then have we really accomplished anything? Sure we may reach a short-term goal of fundraising and “made them aware” but if there hasn’t been a deep impact in their thinking, in their heart, and in their life, it won’t matter nor last. Even if I show them the books I read and the passages that have been studied and the life experiences I went through, it doesn’t mean I can somehow manufacture compassion that roots itself for a lifetime.
So the truth is that the person has to be convicted of this by the Holy Spirit and be open to a change of heart or it won’t matter. They have to be open to and yield to the Spirit, allowing Him to come and change their core, their nature, and their minds to that of the compassion of God. God’s compassion is never ceasing so if He indwells you, then your compassion will be the same. No amount of lobbying or rational argument can change you into an altruistic person of unending compassion. Only Christ can. Only Christ can come and change the core that your compassion will spring from and be rooted in.
As it’s been said before, yes Christ died on the cross for our sins, but it was that forgiveness that is an avenue for righteousness and holiness that is only accomplished by a Pentecost-like, indwelling experience. Only holy things can make things the same so only God can make us holy. Compassion is truly rooted in the heart of Christ, who is in you, Christian. I cannot make anyone holy, righteous, or spirit-filled and I’d do well to remember that as I teach and preach.
As for Dawn and I, this compassion that is burning bright from within has so far resulted in us connecting with Compassion International in the way of sponsorship and their water for life program. That’s not a “hey look what I’m doing” but a “hey let me tell you about where Jesus is leading me.” Something that has never interested me in my lifetime all of a sudden seems as urgent of an issue as the others Christ has put in my heart. That is the testament to His exceeding grace, power, and love for me. I’m sure this is just the beginning to what Christ has in store for us and I’m excited to see how this plays out. To him be the honor and the glory!