Most of us can hardly keep up with all of the new and latest gadgets or other technology that comes out, and we can find ourselves in a perpetual state of desiring more and never being satisfied. Think about it. Whether it’s our career path, church position, or community status, most of us strive for greater. While this often can be healthy and positive, if we are not careful, as believers we can be tempted to lay aside compassion, an integral hallmark of our faith. At first glance, striving to obtain more in life and lacking to show compassion may not seem related, but upon closer examination, they can be intricately linked.
When Jesus was “moved with compassion,”He always acted out of selflessness and for the benefit of others. He healed, delivered, and made people whole as a result of His compassion. I am convinced that you can’t be self-centered, materialistic, and power hungry and at the same time, compassionate. They don’t go together. Compassion requires an outpouring of our selfish motives and agendas and present in the state of another person’s pain, suffering, and/or fear. Our striving to be greater and get greater first, must be grounded in desiring greater in the Kingdom, which according to the Matthew 20:26b, means that “whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant.” We must never want greater so badly that we don’t have a heart for serving others.
I do believe, however, that you can feel sorry or sympathy for others in a selfish state. You might think, “Oh, I feel sorry for him,” or “That’s so sad what happened to her,” but those emotions will never motivate you to feel that person’s pain or take Spirit-led action. So, yes, you can give people things without compassion. You can say all the right things without compassion. However, compassion is something a person can’t fake. The person going through the trial, heartache, and pain can easily identify those who have it and those who don’t. Compassion is a position of the heart that is uniquely situated to love and endure with a person until the change comes.
In a world where people are always striving for more stuff, we can’t forget that regardless of our status in life, we all have the potential, through Christ, to give of ourselves. I am reminded of Job’s friends, and while they weren’t perfect, they showed compassion for Job. Job 2:13 says, “Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was.” This is meaningful because sometimes all that is required to show compassion is for us to come out of our own problems and lives to be there for another through their pain.
It’s important for us to look around us, with no hidden motives or agendas, and just be there for one another. It’s surprising how many people the Lord will show us that we can show compassion towards when we look for them. We may or may not be able to do something to relieve someone immediately out of their misery, but we can always extend love and compassion–a free gift, required no money but all of YOU!
I’ve included a few scriptures that have blessed me about compassion, and I pray you have a blessed weekend!
“And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.” Matthew 14:14
“But whoever has the world’s goods, and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?” I John 3:17
“To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, that I may by all means save some.” I Corinthians 9:22
“And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean.” Mark 1:41