Daily Riches: The Concentric Circles of Compassion (Gary Haugen)

“In my natural state my capacity for compassion and love begins with me and proceeds out (or not) to various concentric circles of human relationships with a decreasing fervency. I have a lot of compassion for my family, but by the time my compassion gets out to the remotest concentric circle where people in strange, faraway countries live, I usually don’t have much left. Granted, this is quite understandable. The limitations of my mind, let alone the limitations of my heart, do not allow me to embrace everyone in the world in the same way that God does…. While this is quite natural and quite human, it is not particularly godly …the extent to which our compassion extends beyond our immediate circle is the extent to which we are loving more like God and less like our carnal selves. While we can never love the broad world as God does … we can at least agree on the ideal toward which we should seek to grow. …I believe [God] understands our tendency to [have compassion for those closest to us] but is probably eager for us to reach out, as we are able (or as we seek his enabling), beyond our carnal limitations, prejudices, cultural mythologies and convenient stereotypes. Jesus calls us to be witnesses of his love, truth, salvation, compassion and justice ‘in Jerusalem [at home], and in all Judea and Samaria [nearby], and to the ends of the earth’ (Acts 1:8) …this is the unique, biblical hope that Christians can offer to a world groaning under the heartache of injustice and oppression: God has compassion on the victims of injustice all over the world, among all people, without favor or distinction. We will, through our acts of compassion, give witness to our belief that what the Bible says is true, or not.” Gary Haugen

“If you love those who love you …
Are not even the tax collectors doing that?”
Jesus in Matthew 5:46

Moving From Head to Heart

  • Does your love transcend “what is quite natural?” Is it becoming more like God’s love?
  • Do you move outward, practicing love in more remote “circles?”
  • Can you identify “prejudices, cultural mythologies and convenient stereotypes” you’ve been using as excuses for not moving outward in love?
  • Does your life testify to the justice of God?

Abba, let me be a force for love in this world.

For More: Good News About Justice by Gary Haugen

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These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow and share my blog. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”

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