Living the Compassionate Life

Jesus never called us to do service projects, he asked us to become servants.

The holiday season is just around the corner and with it comes some mixed messages for kids, indeed, for all of us.

All of us are bombarded by commercials for toys, electronics, and other stuff. From Halloween to New Year's, our culture is about indulgence, stuff, and lots of sugar. In other words, the focus is on consumption.

But the holiday season also brings the opposite message—it is the season when more churches engage in compassion projects than any other. From Operation Christmas Child to Angel Tree to adopting a needy family to singing Christmas carols at the local nursing home, the holiday season is often a time for outreach or remembering the less fortunate. The focus is on compassion, or at least, charity.

This can be confusing, for us and for the children we lead. Compassion or consumption? Which is it? No wonder we feel conflicted. Sometimes, we use compassion projects to appease our guilt for self-indulgence.

What we don't realize is that seeing compassion as a holiday ...

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