“Compassion is passion with a heart.” – Tom Krause.
Last week, I shared a small part of my passion for coffee. However, I began to appreciate and enjoy my passion more when I turned it into compassion. Some of my most memorable coffee gatherings are those spent in fellowship with others.
When my husband and I got married, we decided we would be hospitable people who frequently gathered with others in our home. We would not consider ourselves a pair with countless upon countless of friends and cohorts. Instead, we have a couple handfuls of strong friendships. We believe it is more important to continuously grow and develop in the relationships we have already created than to consistently seek out more friends. We knew that just meeting people for coffee wasn’t enough because we desire to know our friends and family on a heart level. We knew in order to make that possible, we had to make a few changes.
First, we had to welcome others into our home. In 1 Peter 4:9, God calls us to be people of hospitality without complaints or grumbling, to offer one another a meal and a place to stay. We are to spread the Gospel to the ends of the earth. However, we knew that we could not share the love and grace of Jesus with our dear friends without acting out that love first.
Second, we had to seek first His kingdom. Matthew 6:33 reads, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” In other words, seek God first and He will provide. He will be in control, as He always is and forever will be. At the current young stage of our marriage, we have not had many people over for fellowship. However, we have learned to trust God in the little moments that we share with others in our home. On numerous occasions, my parents commented on the constant smell of coffee in our apartment. For some, that seem insignificant. But, for us it made sense. Our apartment would not have the constant smell of coffee if we did not drink it on a daily basis as a couple and consistently with other friends and family. My parents’ comments showed me that God is in control. In every day little things, He helps me see that my passion is something that should and will be shared with those that He chooses to place in our lives in His timing.
Third, and most important, we could not idolize our passion. Exodus 20:4 reads, “You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth.” Some may read that with confusion. But, when our passion turns into a selfish, self-seeking moment it becomes an idol. If we choose to focus on ourselves and our appreciation for a gift God gave us, we idolize it.
Now, we need to be people who take time to self-examine why we do what we do on a daily basis. If we eat and drink for self-glory, it is sin. If we persevere through a tough challenge for self-glory, it is sin. Anything we say or do for our own earthly kingdom is sin. I am not saying you have to open your home to everyone to be hospitable or to better the kingdom of God. But, I am saying, find a passion and put your heart into it.
Living with others on a heart level is one of the scariest, yet bravest daily habits to practice. It is only when we do so will we really be able to connect and make an impact. A public speaker once told me, “Speak from the heart to the heart. If you can do that, that means you are different than everyone else.” The same can be said for living life from the heart to the heart. If you can be vulnerable, if you can be real and honest, if you can be compassionate, it will make all the difference.
Those that I reach out to don’t need coffee to know Jesus. No, we need Jesus to reach out to others. The coffee is simply the welcome mat and we are the open arms of Christ.