Monday, February 27, 2012

Motivation: Compassion vs. Obligation

There is no condemnation in Christ and we are in Christ. That means not only are we not condemned but we are not to condemn others. Condemn means to "declare or judge as guilty."

Compassion and condemnation are near opposites. Compassion says "I love you and am concerned about you." Compassion also knows when to be silent. Condemnation says, "The bible says what you are doing is wrong and God is not pleased with you." Without love scripture is useless. Love is not fault finding but encouraging. Love seeks the benefit of the other person. Love does not try to get someone to conform to your perceived standards for life because you feel obligated to do so.

If you approach someone trying to "help" them thinking, "The bible says what this person is doing is wrong so my duty as a Christian is to help them stop doing it" is not motivated by love but is motivated by your feelings of personal obligation and your desire to avoid guilt. A feeling of duty is not the same thing as love and if you mistake it as love you will hurt many people.

You can help someone selfishly. Doing that is the mindset that says, "I'll feel bad if I don't help this person." Love says, "This person feels bad I want to help."

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