Saturday, December 10, 2011
The Respect Series 11: "The Sympathy Factor"
Whoa, poor _____! How will they be able to make it, after such a loss, or this situation? Many times, words like these are often muttered by sympathizers. These are the individuals who wish to respect or support you, based on your series of unfortunate events: the loss of a loved one, during the fight against a deadly disease, or some other major adversity faced.
But instead of respecting these individuals because one feels sorry for them, you can aid them in their need. Here are some examples:
For the elderly individual --- help them pay for their medicine or be that listening ear, providing hope and encouragement, to a lonely soul.
For the physically challenged/handicapped individual --- help them with medial services like getting dressed, play and eating. More importantly, try assisting those who are called to take care of these individuals.
For the individual who has just experienced a loss --- help them with chores around the home, babysitting children or finding new ways of moving on.
This list could go on and on for the: homeless, drug addict, individual with full blown AIDS, excon, someone presently incarcerated, ones in extreme poverty, the starving, the unemployed, the grossly uneducated, the single-parent, etc.
Instead of just respecting these individuals out of sympathy, how about you truly try getting to know them? Better yet, why don't you seek to love them and even learn to appreciate them? Sadly, many Christians could care less about many of these individuals! Just as long as me, my four and no more are okay, I'm fine and everything's just dandy. But many are physically dying all around you, and also spiritually dying as well. They have came to the belief that no one really cares, about them for that matter.
For some apparent reason, "the light bulb of care" doesn't seem to go off until it hits home. When YOU are the one going through the pain and crisis, suddenly it's a major crisis that needs immediate attention. When it's your family member dying or your spouse being wrapped with depression, all of the sudden it's a matter of life and death and everyone around you, in your circle of influence and your city need to get on board. Matthew 7:12 and Luke 6:31 makes it clear that this type of attitude should extend so far beyond your family, friends and relatives. But "a respectful heart of sympathy" should extend to others you encounter in one form or another.
Remember, selfishness and sympathy usually never go together!