About the Author

Julie is an imperfect wife and mother of four. She edits to make a living but writes and speaks to make a life. She is driven to share the incredible grace she experienced from a Father who refused to leave her alone in the pain of multiple miscarriages and the...

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  1. Good post. I feel your compassion. First, I’ll learn to deal consciously with what I buy, how I live, how I eat. I think that’s the first step. (And pray). When we are aware of our life style, we can see the possibilities to move in the direction of the other.

    You give food for thought. Thanks.

    • You’ve highlighted some important steps, Jedidja. We do need to constantly re-examine our lives in light of our blessings and bless others through them.

  2. Great post. I think this year’s steps for me have not only been thinking about my actions and responding in compassion in regard to the world’s poor, but in praying that God would not let me be blind to the twisted elements in our culture in this regard — things like constant commercials that demand our dogs and cats be fed the highest quality food even though so many humans are suffering, or the sad truth that I can be paralyzed by a restaurant menu because I mustn’t fail to choose the best option that will satisfy me most at this very moment. As you said, being wrecked is not about ease. At some point we have to become uncomfortable with what we are telling ourselves.

    • It is easy to feed into the entitlement mentality, Kelly, and to shelter ourselves from the “uncomfortable” in looking at other’s needs. We are free to enjoy our blessings, but we are also called to serve from them–a oft difficult balancing act requiring lots of prayer. Thanks for your insights.

  3. It is easy to feed into the entitlement mentality, Kelly, and to shelter ourselves from the “uncomfortable” in looking at other’s needs. We are free to enjoy our blessings, but we are also called to serve from them–a oft difficult balancing act requiring lots of prayer. Thanks for your insights.

  4. I’ve recently been reading through Acts and the way the early church reached out to the poor really convicted me about how I view other’s poverty. Their response was to sell possessions and give it all to those in need and sometimes I struggle even with a token response. It seems that for me I need to understand and connect with other’s poverty which requires engagement with communities where poverty is prevalent.

  5. Great post as always Julie. Thanks for directing me here via google plus. You’ve taken the first step awhile ago with your writing. It’s a gift you have been given to bless others. I applaud your craving to do more. How that evolves into measurable impact, pray for that wisdom. The necessary adjustment will become clear. I’m praying for that same wisdom! We all should ;).

    • You are always so encouraging, Brent. Thanks! Moving in the direction of action in response to compassion does need to be done as a direct response to God’s leading. He will compound our limited abilities. I’ll be moved as long as I don’t let myself become isolated and complacent.

  6. I struggle with the same thing, Lesley. I think an important step is to expose ourselves to the need. It is too easy to disconnect when all we see are stocked grocery stores; well-kept homes; and healthy, able-bodied people. We must be careful though: the goal of exposure is not to produce guilt but prayerful acts of compassion.

  7. thank you for sharing this. my heart, too, cries out with God’s heart within me…and He showed me a very long time ago that NONE of this is mine…it is ALL His….and i must be willing to use it the way He intended. when i have commented about the recent outbreaks of burglary in our town, i say “tell them to just knock on my door….if there is something i have that they “need”, they are welcome to it…it’s not mine anyway. and if God wants me to have another, He will supply it for me. ” certainly strange looks are sent my way. and i’m truly not sure why because if we are truly living for HIM, then that is what our hearts must be speaking. one CAN do something. maybe not change the whole world, but you can change SOMEone’s life…..how about starting with a smile?!! and God will show you the next step….
    God’s blessings as we start to live as Christians….REAL Christians!!!

  8. Lord help me to follow thru! You are so right! Isn’t that what shows the world who Jesus is the serving of one another, of others, in love? Sacrifice is often involved. I so often want to give, but I find I want to give of my abundance and when there isn’t “extra” at the end of the month, it is so easy to excuse myself from giving; yet isn’t that when real love is the most evident, when our giving is sacrificial? I appreciate this convicting post which describes my struggle to a tee! A pull here and a tug there, and sometimes I respond; but I know the Lord is calling me to a lifestyle of sacrificial love/giving. I really do want to hear “well done my good and faithful servant” when I go to meet with our Savior!

    • I can feel the tension as you write, Maria, and I understand all too well because I also struggle to live sacrificially. Continue to surrender. Continue to draw near Him. As we do, we’ll have less flesh to get in our way. Walking in faith with you, sister.

  9. Julie, what a challenging post! I love what you wrote about “the broken serving the broken.” I too always help when it is put in front of me. And I am the first to buy beautiful jewelry made by the widows and orphans and sex trafficking victims, thinking I am really “helping.” But have I ever really initiated a search to see what God would have ME do…on my own…with no prompting? Probably not. Thank you for challenging me today…challenging me to move.

    Blessings to you,

    wendy

    • Sounds like you are reaching out in compassion, Wendy. Awesome!
      Isn’t it amazing how when our serving aligns with God’s will for us, our actions are enhanced and multiplied. Thus, seeking His will should be our first step. We might even be surprised.

  10. Julie, your words hit home and with perfect timing as I’ve joined Alene Snodgrass in her Graffiti Summer challenge to step over our fears and serve others. Alene’s book, and also Jeff’s, have been on my heart for some time now and I knew God was calling me to not only see a need, but to do something. Love this —> “Ultimately, being wrecked is about love. ” Thank you for your words as they have inspired me in this new journey. Blessings to you, Beth

    • Thankful God has blessed this post to inspire you, Beth. God calls us to all kinds of service, large and small. Excited to see where He leads you.

  11. I have Jeff’s book on order and read his blog. I definitely have a heart for the poor but for me my bigger area of wanting to help is abused women and children. That is surely an area that poverty hits hard. I do feel for those in 3rd world nations but feel that curently we have so much poverty right around us here in the US. The last several years many have slipped from middle class to lower middle class to being homeless, hurting and hungry. I feel that my part will be to do more right here in the US. The latest hurricanes and tornados have left many without homes and food. Although I am not personally in absolute dire poverty and I have much to be grateful for I am struggling much worse than I ever have financially before and that is saying a lot as I grew up reasonably poor. Lets do what we can for other nations but not forget those we have right here amongst us.

    • Great points, Paula. There is a definite need for aid in the United States. So many hurting families. So many tragic situations. There are, and will continue to be, many ways to bless others, here and abroad.
      I am sorry for your financial struggles. We are not all in a situation to help financially. And that is okay. There are so many ways to serve, and one is not greater than another.
      I appreciate your heart for the abused and your desire to reach out.
      Blessings,
      Julie

  12. Great, thought-provoking post. Julie. I like your including that we need to take a series of small steps because so often the need feels so huge we are paralyzed in knowing how to respond. And that our steps won’t all be the same.

    Some things I do–teach this concept when I lead Bible studies. Christians need to remember WE are supposed to reach out to those in need, and not rely on governments. We try to be conscious of how we spend our money and choose to give despite not having a lot of things we want. (We get teased about being old-fashion because we don’t have a cell phone, for instance.)

    But A BIG NEED I see is to be intentional with our children & grandchildren. If it is difficult for us to face a menu or hours of commercials telling us we deserve the latest thing–it is many more times difficult for the youth. And we need to help them see/learn abut that from early on. It can be challenging to buck the trend of giving your kids the latest & best–but it is our responsibility. And I’ve hand the joy of having one of the grown ones thank us for it. Yea, God.

    • Many are paralyzed by the enormity of the help needed. It may help to acknowledge out loud that we cannot eradicate poverty and suffering. It will never happen until Jesus returns. The pressure to do so is off. Now we are free to seek God’s will in serving.
      You’ve struck a powerful point, Mary, about the importance of guiding our youth. There are so many ways to serve–raising our children among the first.

  13. What about those of us here, myself included, who must choose each month between food for your child versus desperately needed medicine. Staying sick because I can’t afford the doctor. Sacrificing my own needs, not wants, so that my child gets everything he needs and nothing he wants. The son who volunteered to give up his birthday because he knows there is no money. The son who is distraught because he is making that painful transition from elementary to middle school. The son with OCD and extreme anger issues who has to go without the much needed help he deserves but can’t get it because I can’t afford it. I believe in helping others but what happens when you’re the other who so desperately needs help.

    • Dear, sweet Bonnie,
      I’m sorry you and your son are struggling, and I’m sorry you feel this post is not written with you in mind. My call is for the church body to move for ALL in need, not just those in Africa or Venezuela. We need to respond in our wrecked, compassionate state and reach out to our friends and neighbors in need as well as those halfway across the country. We need to reach out to you.
      Have you made your plight known to your church home, to other Christians who will not only lift you up in prayer, but be able to provide food, clothing, medicine, and counseling for you and your son? God instituted the church to come alongside, encourage and support. Give your church body the opportunity to be blessed by blessing you. If they do not respond in Christian love and compassion then find another church home. Give others the opportunity to serve you–ask for help.
      Dear Almighty Lord, full of compassion and mercy,
      We know you hear Bonnie’s cry for help. You are ever faithful. Comfort her as only you can do. Soothe her soul, Father, bring her your peace. Give her your strength so she can boldly reach out for help. Bring others into her life to be blessed by blessing her and her son. Move in the hearts of her neighbors and fellow church members so they move in Bonnie’s life. We thank and praise you, Lord, that Bonnie and her son are together, that they have each other, that You are near, and that You have placed them here for such a time as this. Let her situation bring glory to You as others serve her in Your majestic name.
      In Jesus’ precious name,
      Amen!
      I would love to hear how God moves in your life, Bonnie. Blessings to you and your son, sweet sister.

  14. This is a great post indeed.Thanks for encouraging some of us who are already heavily involved in caring for the needy. It is a great ministry indeed. I am running an orphanage in Cameroon, taking care of the poor and needy. You can know more about it from our website. God bless you and keep up the good work

    • God bless you for your work, Elangwe! We need those like you who are called to go overseas, and we need those who are called to minister stateside as well. Wherever there is need, God’s hands and feet, his love and compassion need to go, delivered by you and me. We will never solve the world’s problems, but we can minister, one soul at a time.

  15. Very well put Julie! I used to be the one offering a token gestures of pittance (small amounts of money, etc ) & perhaps turning a blind eye. Then I realized I could do a little more. For the past few years I have helped out with Relay for Life–Cancer walk, given away clothes & generally given/bought stuff for just about every local mission in town. I have sponsored elderly people at Christmas, done Salvation Army Christmas tree & generally tried to be the first to buy for those in need.

    The people in this country need to stop turning a blind eye to the social, economic & spiritual problems around the world. We need to be more enlightened & hopefully encouraged to do something.

  16. Great post! We kept saying YES to the next thing God put in front of us…. And ended up moving to Bangkok 9 months ago…hard but worthwhile journey!

    • Wow, I’d love to hear more of the story, Carol! What is your area of ministry? May you be richly blessed and be rich blessings to others.