Authentic Compassion

Authentic Compassion

Man on the street in South Africa by Mike@The Warming House

There are a lot of ideas circulating these days about who’s compassionate and who is not  – especially on the American political scene. Politicians paint one party as being more compassionate while another is painted as being colder and more uncaring. 

When I see so many college-aged men and women leaning toward a particular party’s candidate, I often wonder if it has anything to do with their perception of that party’s compassion. 

So here’s the deal. I’m really well-acquainted with compassion.  I’ve experienced God’s compassion poured out on me.

As a former Director of Sending Ministries, God compelled me to rally people together to practice roll-your-sleeves-up, hands-on compassion in and through the local church. In that position, I watched God transform our church as he reshaped hearts and mobilized people in sacrificial acts of compassion.

I’ve also studied compassion at length and am currently writing a book on it. So when I hear all this rhetoric, it really bothers me.

Here’s a little reality for you. While working in the trenches with the underprivileged, I witnessed true and desperate need. But I also met many able-bodied people whose life mission and career goal was to convince our government they had a “disability” so they could receive a regular disability check.

Here’s something I’ve learned about authentic compassion. Maybe this will help you as you demonstrate it in your life.

Authentic compassion does not make people dependent on systems, organizations, ministries, or governments. Period.

  • There is a time and place for emergency assistance and even long-term care (i.e., orphans), but authentic compassion never desires to make that assistance a permanent lifestyle – because it imprisons people in dependency.
  • Authentic compassion is proactive.
  • It always desires to build people up and make them stronger.
  • It sees the potential in every person.
  • It honors the value and dignity of each person.
  • It seeks the best for that person.
  • It seeks to move individuals toward their fullest potential and the fulfillment that comes from living out their God-given purpose on this earth.
  • It allows people to realize the deep satisfaction that comes from a day of hard work.
  • It never limits, enables, or makes people dependent. It empowers.

When I was in my early twenties I voted Democrat based solely on the fact that I felt they were the “kinder” party. My experiences leading ministries of compassion have given me a different perspective.

Obama recently gutted 1996 bi-partisan welfare reform, the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), which ended welfare as an entitlement. Under Bill Clinton’s administration welfare reform focused on a return to work and self-sufficiency. Welfare support was directly tied to return-to-work requirements. Safequards were put in place to protect these requirements from being waived by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Obama once again put himself above the law with yet another executive order dismissing these requirements. He opened the door for welfare recipients to receive benefits without any expectation that they return to work. He rewrote the law without the approval of Congress. “Not only is that an abuse of executive power, it results in more social policy that promotes government dependence instead of self-sufficiency.” (Say Anything Blog)

Let’s stop allowing politicians to define compassion. The view becomes extremely distorted when the only aim is self-serving re-election based on creating a sense of dependency among the people. 

So how about wrapping our minds around authentic compassion?

What are your thoughts and comments? 

Please circulate and share this post if you want to set the record straight and rally people toward authentic compassion in our world today.



Rush Week and Why You’re Good Enough

Rush Week

Last August I helped my kids get settled at college. I’ll never forget what I saw one night as I drove through sorority row. Rush week rush hour! Throngs of girls in trendy dresses, killer shoes, perfect hair and makeup streamed up and down the street.

As I watched them walking from house to house, I felt really sad. They were trying so hard to stand out and measure up to each sorority’s standards, yet so many would be rejected. Lots of them would end up feeling like they weren’t good enough and wonder what was wrong with them. That’s a crime because there isn’t a darn thing wrong with any of them. They were all so precious as they paraded up and down the street.

Last Sunday, our pastor talked about the universal fear of rejection we all have – and our need for approval. He explained that this stems from the fact that we all subconsciously know we fall short of the glory of our Creator. We know we’ve sinned.

We need acceptance. God’s acceptance is the solution to our fear of rejection. His acceptance is the only acceptance that really matters.

Our amazing God accepts us wholeheartedly, completely, and permanently when we recognize our shortcomings, repent, and put our faith in Christ.

We don’t have to wear the right clothes or shoes. We don’t have to do our hair and make-up perfectly. Honestly, there’s nothing we can do to make ourselves acceptable by God’s standards – and God doesn’t want us to even try. Whew! What a relief!

If God’s acceptance depended on our efforts, we would be in serious trouble. Because it depends on Christ, we are saved. Christ makes us acceptable.

So why do we chase after the acceptance of the people around us? Why do we crave the approval of a world whose acceptance is shallow, unreliable, and temporary?

As I drove carefully along the road that night, I felt Christ’s presence inside of me – like he was looking at those girls through my eyes. I felt his heart grieving as he watched them wear themselves out chasing after the world’s approval when they already had his.

He loves each one of them so deeply. He sees each one as extraordinarily beautiful. He gave everything he had to rescue them.

Not one of them has to measure up in his eyes. He wants them – and us – to recognize our significance and value to him. Those girls all have his heart. And so do you.

Remember that as you get caught up in the flurry of rush week.

In your life, whose acceptance has been the most important to you?

Loving you all . . .

Mama B

There is Always Hope

Light in the night (Castelldefels)

Well – there was another shooting yesterday. This time in College Station as students were starting to filter back to the area for rush week. One of the victims was the mother of our daughter’s close friend.

Both of my college-age kids were so disheartened yesterday. They both commented on how crazy this world has become – and how there is so much evil in it. Each of them said they can’t wait for Jesus to come back – and they hope it will be very soon.

This truly is a troubled world. But God is still in control. Remember the story of Esther? Haman – the enemy of the Jews – devised a plan to annihilate all the Jews because of his toxic pride. He even planned to profit from their destruction by taking their property after he murdered them.

Do you remember how the Jewish people grieved and mourned when they learned of his plan? Everything seemed hopeless. And what did God do? He was behind the scenes working diligently to protect and preserve his people. He had made a promise and he was going to keep it. The Messiah would come from Jewish lineage. So God put Esther in a royal position, turned the tables, eliminated Haman, and saved his people.

Let me remind you today that there is hope. God is still behind the scenes working out his plan for you, me, and all of mankind. Christ will return a second time. (Revelation 19:6-7) He came first to save and rescue sinners – not to condemn. (John 3:17; Matthew 1:21; Luke 19:10) He will return to judge/punish evil (Jude 1:14-15; 1 Peter 4:5; 1 Corinthians 4:5) and rule as King. (Matthew 25:31; Philippians 2:10-11) Yay! Those who have put their trust in him will be safe because he has already endured their punishment for them. (1 John 2:2; 1 John 4:10; Romans 5:10; Romans 8:1) He is our hope.

Let me also remind you that God is still working in you! He has specifically placed you (with your unique quirks, characteristics, strengths, and weaknesses) in this tumultuous world for such a time as this. You and your generation give me hope for the future. God believes in you and has great faith in your potential to make things different. So do I. Never forget that!

If you feel an angst within you and want to do something in response to all the evil around you, consider what God tells us in Romans 12:21

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” 

Overcoming evil with good is God’s way of doing things. Acts of love, mercy, kindness, forgiveness, and generosity are all “good.” For every evil thing you’ve seen lately do one good thing for someone else. 

You and your generation can ultimately bring hope and change to this world by living your life in tight relationship with Jesus. Remember – “it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” Your actions are an outworking of your relationship with him. Stay close. Stay connected. Stay committed. Toughen up your allegiance to him so you can live in a manner that’s worthy of the gospel.

As you go back to school, who will you live for in this crazy world? Yourself or Jesus? 

I would absolutely LOVE to hear from you. Tell me what you want me to write about. I am here for you and want to be a strong encouragement to you.

Mama B (aka Lisa!)

As Christians you’re going to hear a lot of complaints about God in light of the movie theater shooting. This tragedy might even give you some questions and doubts about God, so I’m reblogging a post from The Warming House. Hope this helps. Here’s a link to an awesome post by one of the survivors of the shooting.

The Warming House

My husband recently read a book called “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years” by Donald Miller (copyright 2009 by Donald Miller; Thomas Nelson Publishing). In the book, the author talks about his friend, Kathy. Her relationship with God had been seriously damaged by years of hardship. She hung out on the periphery of God for a while until she reached a point where she was ready to let him go altogether. Then she went to Rwanda where she toured the genocide museum in the capital city of Kigali. As she made her way through the exhibits and learned about the events leading up to the genocide she was emboldened in her belief that God only created us to let us “march around in our own misery.” She prayed, “You’re supposed to be good. What are you good for?”

She then visited a church where Tutsis had taken refuge during the massacre thinking they…

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Are Christians Perfect? Do They Have to Be?

Hi valiant princess! I met with a young woman yesterday and we talked about Christianity. Something came up in the conversation about Christians and being “perfect.” She told me she struggles with feeling inadequate as a Christian and with being able to believe with conviction that she knows she’s going to heaven.

Our discussion got me to thinking about non-Christians. Do we appear self-righteous to them because they think Christianity is all about being perfect? Do they see us as arrogant because we know we’re going to heaven and they believe that in saying that, we see ourselves as perfect?

In light of this, I want to remind you of some important things.

Christianity is precisely for imperfect people. Yes, that’s right. Because that is who we are. 

“There is no one righteous, not even one . . .” Romans 3:10

“. . . for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God . . .” Romans 3:23

“And those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” Romans 8:8

“Then the Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The Lord was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain.” Genesis 6:5-6

“The mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so.” Romans 8:7

“Therefore, just as through one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned. (Romans 5:12)

Thinking we have to make ourselves holy and acceptable in order to come to God only brings feelings of failure and guilt. We just aren’t able to do that. And God knows it. Remember what He did – with full knowledge of our imperfections.

“But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

Christ is the only one who’s perfect. We aren’t.

“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

When we put our faith in Christ, God sees us through the lens of Christ’s perfection. 

“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

“For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!” Romans 5:10

Because of what He has done, we can know with confidence that we are going to heaven.

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1

“I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.” John 10:28-29

“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romand 8:38-39

It’s critical to remember our imperfections and what God has done for us when we weren’t deserving so that we don’t become arrogant.

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

“Once we too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled by others and became slaves to many wicked desires and evil pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy. We hated others, and they hated us. But then God our Savior showed us his kindness and love. He saved us, not because of the good things we did, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins and gave us a new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us because of what Jesus Christ our Savior did. He declares us not guilty because of his great kindness. And now we know that we will inherit eternal life.” Titus 3:4-5

Bottom line: Christianity is not about being perfect. Instead, Christianity is a faith where we’re being perfected by God.

“Not that we are in any way confident of doing anything by our own resources – our ability comes from God. (2 Corinthians 3:5)

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6

“. . . work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:12-13

So there you go girls! If you have put your faith in Christ, your place in heaven is secure. Believe it and don’t feel bad about saying it because it’s not about you being perfect. It’s about what God has done for you as you depend on Him.

What do you think? Do you have questions? What would you like to see in my next post?

Love you all!

Mama B~

Love My Kitchies!

This site has been put together for my “kitchies” who are going back to the real world after serving at kamp. Beautiful daughters of the King – It has been so fun watching you grow this summer. I truly believe you are leaving kamp as different people. God is doing such a great work in you! Know that you are loved and prayed for. I will miss our sweet times together. Please use this site as encouragement for the road ahead.

“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” 2 Peter 1:3

Love you all!

Mama B