Compassion Fatigue: Weary of Doing Good
“And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing there, urging him and saying, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us (Acts 16:9).'”
The migration of countless immigrants to Europe from the war-torn Middle East has captured the attention of the media and the world. Pictures of a small child’s lifeless body that had washed up on a beach became a catalyst for international grief and an outcry for immediate assistance. Germany, Hungary and other European countries opened their borders and their arms to those in pursuit of better lives–until now. The nightly news this week carried a story of a Macedonian refusal to permit certain immigrants from passing through their borders en route to other European destinations. It appears partly that the migration has been overwhelming and the flood of desperate souls has begun to breach the river banks of human compassion. These events hold implications for that which is right and fair, as well as the inherent value of human life. Could this be a sign of compassion fatigue?
A Great Irony
It is somewhat ironic that contemporary Macedonians (and other European countries) are beginning to reject certain immigrants because the Greek republic, at least for Christians, has long stood as a symbol for global moral awareness and subsequent social concern (Acts 16:9). Centuries ago, the Apostle Paul had a seminal Macedonian vision that formed a key part of the foundation for the Christian missionary movement. The vision became a commitment that extended beyond simple gospel proclamation to include core values related to teaching and discipling (Matthew 28:20; 1 Timothy 4:11; 2 Timothy 3:10-11), assistance for physical needs (cf. Matthew 25:34-40; Romans 12:13; 2 Corinthians 8:1-4), and concern for the home (cf. Ephesians 5:22-6:4). Even though the early church lagged at times in its commitment to a fully-engaged gospel witness that was holistic, believers were exhorted not to grow weary in “doing the good” (Galatians 6:19; see also 2 Corinthians 8:1-4). Literally, to do the good meant to practice consistently the range of things that would benefit others.
Finish What You Start
Those currently focused on social concerns like evangelism, education, hunger relief, and aid for the family commonly measure their efforts by a standard that is termed, sustainability. They ask, “Can you finish what you start?” The Center is committed to that which lasts and we thank you for joining your heads, hearts, and hands with us in this resolve. We believe that it is right and fair to offer others the full grace that we have so abundantly received. Therefore, we not only evangelize, but we also educate, feed the hungry, and strive to strengthen homes. The tragic image of a young child lying on a beach will motivate humanity for a season, but it is the teachings and example of Christ, as well as the picture of His death on the cross, that is our ultimate motivation to sacrificial service. His Spirit is the One that enables us to sustain these efforts and we rely entirely upon His help.
Come Serve With Us
We thank you for your ongoing love, prayers, support and service to the Lord through the Center. This new year is bright with opportunity and we ask you to come serve with us!