Compassion

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1 John 3:17 “If anyone has this world’s goods and sees his brother in need but shuts off his compassion from him – how can God’s love reside in him?”

A woman in our bible study group asked, “I know we need to show compassion, but how do we do this and not become pushovers?”

I thought this was a good question,  and by the replies of everyone else in our study, they thought it was too. In fact, it generated more conversation than any of the questions I posed to them. So, from now on, she will write our bible studies if she thinks she’s so smart.

However, it got me thinking: What do we do to be generous and show compassion but keep people from taking advantage of it?

Or, in other words, how do help people not become moochers? And, what does compassion have to do with it?

The apostles, Peter and John, encountered a man, who many a jewish person in 1st century A.D. would have considered a moocher without question. Since he was lame from birth, he couldn’t move around much unless someone carried him, which would get tiring for that person after a while. He laid on the ground and begged people for money, because of course, money would have made him better again. Peter and John offered him something better. Through Christ, they gave him the ability to walk again. Not money, but what the man deep down really needed.

As someone who is an expert on mooching, (I lived with my parents for a significant amount of time) I could contribute a lot to this question, but I welcome your thoughts, opinions, and ideas on this matter. Remember, there are no silly answers, just silly little brothers…

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