Relevant Magazine recently posted an article about “The Socially Acceptable Sin“. The article has nearly 7,000 social shares – three times more than the other top three featured articles combined that are on the home page. This speaks to the level we identify with the idea that gluttony is an important topic that we may not be being honest with ourselves about.
In America we struggle with excess. We continue to cry out for more and more – either from God, our jobs, our paycheck, or anything else we have within our minds. It is easy for us to get mixed up in what the difference is between our wants and our needs. Because of this, we often have an overwhelming sense of dissatisfaction and discontentment, and we fall for our feelings that “the grass is always greener on the other side.” If only I had that. Replace “that” with whatever the want is. Once I get it, will I be happy? Will more money make me happy? Will I be happy with a raise, or once I have it will I be looking for the next raise? Will a thing make me happy?
“It’s often difficult to distinguish what is hard-earned achievement and what is indulgent excess.” – Jason Todd
While we do sometimes feel this way, and so we must realize that we have been provided with so many resources and we are equipped and capable of helping other people. In fact, Jesus talks about the poor, the orphans, the widows, and the rich man who does not come to Lazarus’ aid. Richard Stearnes, the current president of World Vision, addresses this issue in The Hole in Our Gospel and talks about how we have a responsibility given by God to take care of the poor. (Read more on World Vision’s page “What Does the Bible Say About the Poor?“)
This is crux of it all – we must be driven by compassion and love, not guilt, not rules, not draining obligation. The children and people who need a friend, a pair of shoes, a teddy bear, a meal, or a cold cup of water are alive somewhere in the world. They live and breath, love and think, and need us to help them. Why? Because we are capable, and because God has placed compassion deep within our hearts. If we reach down in our hearts for it, we’ll find the weed killer for our insatiable desire for stuff by replacing it with an unyielding yearning to love people. It is all about compassion.