Thursday, December 14, 2006

Christmas Compassion

Marc Hansen shares a story in the Des Moines Register about a young mother who receives an anonymous gift of $200 outside of Merle Hay Mall. Pretty cool. He also talks about a new book out called: Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism by Syracuse University economics professor, Arthur C. Brooks. His "surprising" truth is that conservatives are far more generous about giving to charities.
Hansen goes on to say:
"Liberals talk a good game about compassion, Brooks' voluminous research shows, but when it's time to write that check, they don't walk the walk."
Did he really need to research this? Is this really surprising? When you consider that most conservatives are also religious and are motivated by Scripture to give. Jesus teaches us in Matthew where our treasure is, our heart is as well.
"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also," (Matthew 6:19-21, ESV).
Our heart should be on that which is God's heart, people - therefore our faith compels us to give to charities that help people in need - be it a local church, faith-based organization or community-based organization. We should desire to help those in need - it is a practical way to love our neighbors as we love ourselves, (Matthew 22:39). Hansen goes on to say:
"To make matters worse - or better, depending on your political perspective - religious conservatives are much more likely to give than the so-called secular liberals who believe in welfare and other government entitlement programs (like I said before - liberals and I both agree we both want to be generous with my money).
And not just money. Everything from volunteer hours to sweat and blood, literally."
We all saw this at work during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina - if it were not for the Body of Christ rising up to help, thing would have been a lot worse and more people likely would have died. As great as that is, we shouldn't sit on our laurels - we can do much, much more.

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