The holidays are over and a New Year has begun with new resolutions, more winter and more of January. I always feel a little nostalgic this time of year. I read quite a few blogs weekly and around this time of year I see more often people talk about the 'winter funk'. Where the sparkle of the holidays is gone and winter has really set it. Especially with the crazy snow storms around the U.S. lately! One thing I see this time of year is how the giving nature of Christmas tends to trickle away after the new year. It seems as soon as the Christmas cards are packed away and boxes put back into storage the reality of the spending of Christmas sets in. I've been really trying hard to put technology down and finish the book I started after Eli was born last year. How pathetic is that? It's taken me almost a full year to finish a 260 page book!
Ben Carson's 'The Big Picture' has a whole chapter on how he challenges people to be more compassionate. He calls in 'Compassionate Action' and calls people of all races and genders to stop using race, gender, stature or any disadvantages the person may have and give them compassion and acceptance instead.
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"Compassion action would mean that consideration could and should be given in admission policies and in jobs to any person who has come from a severely disadvantaged background, whatever it might be."
He is talking about admission in universities and programs. Certain schools have long had a preference on the 'type' of students they want among their body of people. Laws have been put in place to accept people of different backgrounds forcing the schools to accept certain amount of people from different races, genders and backgrounds. But that's beside the point. The point I want to bring to the table is to remember compassion doesn't have to start and end with the holidays. It should be year round no matter what the person or persons situation is at that point.
1 Peter 4:10 says,
"Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms."
We have each been given gifts, kindness, humility, gentleness, love, joy....yes these are fruits of the Spirit, but each of us excels in them more then others. I challenge you to try and excel in your gifts this month and every month for 2014. Try to remember people are in need throughout the whole year and not just around the holidays. Jesus is compassionate year round. Can you imagine what life would be like as a Christ follower if you asked for forgiveness one day and He says, "I don't feel like forgiving you today, maybe tomorrow?" It would be awful!
Just a few ideas to get you started,
.Pay for the person behind you in the drive thru.
.Mow your neighbors lawn if you notice they haven't gotten to it (Spring time of course).
.Find a favorite organization to support.
.Instead of donating to goodwill, give it to a shelter.
.Volunteer at a soup kitchen.
.Make a baked good for your neighbor and leave it on their doorstep.
What will you do to show compassion this month?