Rob Buckingham's Blog

Compassion Fatigue

Compassion fatigue is apparently what sets in when there have been too many disasters and we all get fed up with having to dig deep again and again to help alleviate human suffering. Of course such a condition could only be named and blamed in a self-indulgent, prosperous western nation such as ours. “I’m so sorry, I’d love to help out but I’m suffering too – from compassion fatigue” – give me a break!

In a country where the poorest person is still in the top 8% of the world’s wealthy we are in danger of committing the sin of Sodom.  The prophet Ezekiel had this to say about this former city: “Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy” (Ezekiel 16:49). It’s a fascinating verse especially as much of the church thinks that Sodom was destroyed because it was full of gay people. Ezekiel reveals that God’s anger burned against the people of this city because they had plenty of time and plenty of resources (just like us) but they didn’t give a rip about those in need – the poor dears suffered from compassion fatigue – and paid the ultimate price!

I’m told there are over 2000 references in the Bible to the responsibility of those who have to help those who have not. Obviously this is a major topic on the mind of God. And we better get used to it because Jesus prophesied that there would be an increase of natural disasters leading up to His Second Coming (see Matthew 24:7).  This prophecy is highly concerning, but at the same time it offers a wonderful opportunity for we Christians to demonstrate our counter cultural hearts.  So, “let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers” (Galatians 6:9-10).

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