Helping the helpless, housing the homeless, feeding the hungry, caring for the needy, all are attributes of a compassionate heart.

Helping the helpless, housing the homeless, feeding the hungry, caring for the needy, all are attributes of a compassionate heart.
Caring for others is costly in many ways. Paying the price to help them involves more than time, more than physical labor. It will cost you wrong attitudes. Judgment will have to bow to compassion.  It's easy to look at a family in need, see the parents smoking, and wonder why they purchased cigarettes instead of food. It's easy to come up with a wrong perception of joblessness and decide not to help a family, because it appears the bread winner is lazy.  It can cause those in charitable work to demand certain behaviors or requirements prior to giving assistance. An attitude of superiority can keep us from the messy job of helping others.
Assistance is not necessarily enabling a situation; it is relieving a situation. As the pressure of lack is lessoned, the level of stress goes down and the family can start looking for long term answers instead of depending on short term relief.  When we give short term relief, we are not unaware of the need for long term answers. We are looking at ways to evaluate family strengths and weaknesses as well as put temporary food on the table. Sickness, injury, loss of a job, lack of education or job skills, all are issues that require answers.
We refuse to put people in a derogatory category that entraps them. Judgment without understanding and relationship might make us feel superior, but it shuts the door on compassion. Hearts that refuse to see beyond the flaws of others are hearts that are afraid to care.
Loving the unlovely is the ministry of Jesus. We have all been in the unlovely category at one time or another. He reached out to us in our sinful state and drew us into His arms of love. He touched the lepper, forgave the prostitute, healed the demoniac, fed the five thousand, and died on a cross forgiving those who crucified Him. What kind of love is this? May it change our hearts and give us compassion for others.
"For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him" John 3:17 NASB