And how do you deal with them?
For me, the following things alwasy ster tension
Seeing a hitchhiker on the road. In my single days I did pick them up on occassion, now DW would kill me if I did, especially if family is in the car. The tension between loving thy neighbor and protecting the family is always strong.
Almsgiving to poor on the street (not through organizations). I used to always try to give something, but at the same time eventually in some cities you realize you can't always do that. In addition, the same issue comes up when with family, I generally don't give out of respect for my wife's fear that more could happen. At the same time, I can't help but think the person needs help, and I can help in some small way.
Charity vs enabling. We all know people, family or friends who have ended up in bad situations due primarily to their own choices and efforts. While I believe in unlimited chances, that doesn't come when people don't want to change. Obviously there are rough times locally for many that haven't "made there bed" so to speak, and worldwide it's a completely different story, but it's easy to have a fear of giving to the wrong situation.
Economic tensions on spending. I firmly do believe over consumerism will not fullfill anyone, but at the same time, I do enjoy nice things. I also do believe that in the current economic times, consumerism is needed to employ people. It does provide opportunities for people here and elsewhere. At the same time, as an individual, I could alwasy give more and spend less without upsetting the overall economy (on my own).
While most the time, I'm just living trying to do my best, at times I can get almost paralyzed by fear that I'm not faithful to God if I don't "sell everything and give to the poor, or leave my family for God". I so enjoy family time and playing with my son, etc. and feel I have so many blessings that I fear I like life too much. I hate the extremes I go through, as I feel it would be easy to turn toward God to do better, give a little more time and treasure, make a commitment to avoid sin, etc, but I fear thats not radical enough. On the flip side, if I find myself thinking radically, I find myself becoming extremely jugemental.
I'm not sure what I'm hoping to get out of this thread, except wondering if others go through similar conflicts, and how they deal with them.