The Bible says, “And of some have compassion, making a difference” Jude 22.
Brother Jude, one of the original twelve Apostles, had identified enemies of the truth of the Gospel within the church itself. They had “crept in.” He writes as though he had personal experience with them. But despite his deep feelings of offense, distrust, and even alarm, he wrote that the disciples should not dwell on those things but that they should seek to keep themselves in the love of God. He told them that they should concentrate on the eternal salvation of souls because all men need the Saviour. Some would be saved just because they feared Hell and wanted to escape the sin curse of this old world. But others, especially those who opposed themselves, like the ones who had crept into the church, would need compassion. They would need to see the love of God in Christians. He said, “And of some have compassion” and that will make the difference! Jude had the character and heart to want to make a difference in the lives of even those who had offended him, opposed him, hurt him and his work.
When I first went to Myanmar I realized that there was much bitterness between the hill tribe peoples and the governing Burmese. The reasons were both historic and personal. Feelings were so intense that one pastor from the Chin tribe said to me, “When I get to heaven, if I see one Burmese person, I will come back!” And yet today many Chin preachers are working to reach the Burmese with the Gospel of Christ. Praise the Lord, I have witnessed the love of God in them.
Kim is a lady who has had what I would call “a hard life.” Her early years were marked by abuse and distrust. Because of that abuse, she suffered for years with depression and self-loathing. She addicted herself to many self-destructive substances and practices and finally attempted suicide. Then her husband walked away and finally divorced her.
Kim was all alone and could have become more bitter than ever. But, instead, she decided to start over. She completed her education and took a position teaching in a prestigious school in Seoul, South Korea. Then she heard that I was going to be in Thailand and sent a message, asking if she could visit our ministry there for a few days during my stay. By experience, the Prophet Jeremiah knew that what he saw with his eyes affected his heart. And so with Kim, as soon as she saw our school children and orphans, she fell in love and made a commitment to help them sacrificially.
Like Jude, and like the Chin, Kim has passed the point of offense, distrust, fear, and alarm. She has decided to keep herself in the love of God rather than bitterness. She has decided, despite her previous pain, to have compassion and to make a difference. Believe me, she is making a difference in our ministry and in the lives of our children. But, from what I can see, the biggest difference is in herself.