DON’T ALLOW YOUR HEART TO GROW CALLOUS. BEWARE OF COMPASSION FATIGUE.
Here are some heart-felt sentiments as I lay here on this Monday morning…
My heart is overwhelmed with the struggling, the hurting, the broken, the desperate, the sick, the dying, and the many helpless and hopeless people and situations across the globe. Here is a letter I received recently from a pastor in a nation I’ve ministered in several times:
Hi My Dear Rev. Bert and family,
It has been a long time we have been praying for our country. As long as the generations go and new generations come we will normally need people to lift up their voice with us to pray and seek the Lord for something in the land.
I would like to ask you to join us at this moment to pray for Guinea-Bissau. OUR COUNTRY NEEDS YOUR PRAYERS SERIOUSLY AT THIS POINT, BECAUSE THINGS ARE NOT GOING ALRIGHT, POLITICALLY, SOCIALLY, ECONOMICALLY, ETC. PEOPLE ARE DESPERATELY IN A BAD SITUATION AND MANY OF GUINEA BISSAU’S PEOPLE HAVE LOST THEIR HOPE TO SEE THE COUNTRY BETTER. But our hope is in Christ Jesus.
There is a level of death and sickness and much hunger in the land, no righteousness, and fear of the Lord among the politicians.
I GET THESE KIND OF EMAILS AND REQUESTS FOR PRAYER QUITE FREQUENTLY AND IF YOU’RE NOT CAREFUL YOU CAN BECOME CALLOUS TO THEM. This is my whole point in posting this.
Your natural mind may have these thoughts and excuses: After all, I’m not God. I can’t meet everyone’s needs. My compassion has its limits. I’m tired, have my own challenges, etc., etc., etc. A person can train himself to turn these needs off and go about his business.
But I refuse to go there in my heart and mind. I don’t ever want to be the least bit callous toward suffering humanity. Instead, I’ve trained myself to ask the Holy Spirit if He’s calling me to pray for this situation or do something about it.
So I am praying for this nation, and because I’ve ministered there several times in past years and know this pastor, I send him money grams from time to time to help. But after reading this desperate email I felt the Lord calling me to do more. So I sent a request to a large evangelistic ministry to pray about doing a major crusade in this nation and possibly helping with some of the physical needs. It’s something so small and cost me nothing but a few minutes to send them this request, but it could make a tremendous difference in turning this nation around and bringing hope and healing to multitudes.
Oh, and by the way, the aforementioned pastor just lost one of his children, a 9 year old sweet boy, to a drowning accident a few weeks ago. And yet, in the midst of his own sorrows he is leading his church and fighting for his country. That alone touches me deeply.
Please don’t allow callousness or “compassion fatigue” to set into your heart. In spite of our own nation’s struggles, we are still the most prosperous and powerful nation on the earth and we have been blessed with many resources to help the world.
Don’t allow your heart to be hardened by the many tragedies, wars, deaths, violence, injustices, and human needs of humanity. Don’t let these things just be another headline in the daily news. Don’t just scroll through them on a daily basis without much care and concern. Continually place yourself in the shoes of others who are suffering. How would you want to be treated if you were them?
Allow your heart to be broken on a daily basis. Stay in close communion with God’s great compassionate heart and His deep affections. Go to prayer. Groan for the manifestation of the sons of God and the deliverance of sinful, fallen humanity. Do what God is calling you to do.
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