Give Till It Hurts
I am writing from the chauffeured vehicle of my boss’ Ford F-150. We are on our way to
I ran across this sign the other week. It is from our church down the road. They really have a problem with these signsJ Now they have two messages at a time going. So I will be commenting on both in these next posts. The first one says, “Compassion demands that we do something. Give until it hurts!” Now it has become acceptable in our society and even in the
Compassion is not hurtful. It is joyful. It should mark every believer in Jesus Christ. Christ was compassionate to the multitudes. Notice:
Mt 9:36 But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.
Mt 14:14 And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick.
Mt 15:32 Now Jesus called His disciples to Himself and said, "I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now continued with Me three days and have nothing to eat. And I do not want to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way." Mt 20:34 So Jesus had compassion and touched their eyes. And immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed Him.
Mr 1:41 Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, "I am willing; be cleansed."
Mr 6:34 And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. So He began to teach them many things.
Mr 8:2 "I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now continued with Me three days and have nothing to eat.
Lu 7:13 When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, "Do not weep."
The word used in all these verses is the word splagchnizomai (translated “compassion”). It means to be moved as to one's bowels. Those of Jesus’ day would have spoken of the bowels as the seat of their emotions. They would have been “touched” in the pit of their stomach’s had something affected them deeply. We use the same concept, but speak of our heart not our bowels, for obvious reasonsJ However, let us note that these are emotions, but they are not emotions that are left alone. Jesus was touched with their infirmities and sicknesses and waywardness and hunger. He “felt” for them if you will. However, Jesus did not simply “feel” for them, but He acted and demonstrated compassion. In other words, His compassion is not a feeling alone and neither should it be of his followers. Just as faith without works is dead, feeling compassion is dead apart from its outward demonstration. Notice it didn’t hurt Christ, it moved Him.
Jesus used the parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10. There we find a man who was beaten, robbed and left for dead. He was from the nation of
Another aspect that often happens in regards to giving is that many give out of guilt. How many people buy presents for people not out of love or compassion, but because there is some type of celebration and they believe that the other person will be getting them something and so they get a gift? That is not a gift of compassion.
When there is the giving of money, some people feel obligated. When the cashier asks would you like to help with, whatever the particular organization is or some other particular project, people somehow feel obligated, but not moved with compassion. Let me lay it on the line. It is ok to say “no”. If you act out of guilt rather than compassion, just keep your money. Remember Ananias & Sapphira form Acts 5? What were they doing? It appears that there was great pressure on them to give because, well, everyone else was giving. What is most telling and I think most common today is that they gave, which was good, but they gave for the wrong reasons and under false pretenses. They lied about what they gave, when they didn’t have to give at all. Their giving was for show and God struck them dead. Incredible! God wants giving that is from a cheerful heart, not one motivated by guilt or pride.
32 Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common.
33 And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all.
34 Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold,
35 and laid them at the apostles' feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need.
Isn’t that beautiful? There were none among them who lacked anything, for they cared for one another and they were of the same mind and God blessed them and He gave power to His apostles to witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. What good would the witness of the resurrection do if it did not produce holy living and compassion in others? It would do exactly what many see today among those who call themselves Christians. It would create those who do not see the glory and beauty of the Savior and His gospel. May God grant us hearts of compassion and move us to action for our brothers and sisters.
Before I left this morning I checked out Nathan White’s website and saw the post he left regarding some brothers and sisters in MS. They are in desperate need and his church has decided to send some supplies and help. If you would like to help, please visit Nathan’s Site and they have list of items that the people need. May God guide you and me in giving, not till it hurts, but out of genuine compassion.