The Gift of Compassion
I have always said I have compassion for others. But I must confess I have sometimes added “up to a point.” When I said that statement and those listening to me would look at me rather strangely, I would attempt to clarify my remark. “You know, we should help a person only so much and then they should “be able to make it on their own.” In my arrogance, I would make this comment without knowing the full background of the person being helped.
I’m not making excuses, although I’m sure it sounds like I am, but I had become jaded. I was working as a Church Business Administrator (and still am) and part of my responsibilities was to speak with those who called or came by the church seeking financial assistance. I had seen everything – from a person living out of their dilapidated car to a person who arrived in a brand new Camero to pick up a check to assist in paying their rent.
Eventually, God got fed up with my arrogance and said to me, “Who do you think you are? You are guilty of judging these people. You do not know their circumstances, yet you presume to only have compassion ‘up to a point.’ I have unlimited compassion and if you desire to be more like Me, you must repent and allow My compassion to flow through you to others.”
Ouch. Needless to say, I was on my face, repenting and asking God to pour His compassion through me. He did forgive me and began to allow me to see others through His eyes. And what an eye-opener that was. We never know what is going on behind closed doors.
I also researched the compassion of Jesus and found that as in all situations, Jesus is no respecter of persons when it comes to compassion. Just a few references:
Mark 6:34: Compassion towards those in the multitude who were distressed and scattered abroad as sheep without a shepherd
Mark 8:2: Compassion on the multitude in general
Matthew 20:34: Compassion on the blind
Mark 9: 22, 25: Compassion on the demonized, the victims of the power of unclean spirits
Mark 1:40-41: Compassion on the leper
Luke 7:12-13: Compassion on the bereaved
There are many more scriptures but I’m sure you are beginning to see my point. He had compassion on all who needed it. He was not selective and his compassion did not go “up to a point” – it went all the way.
In this day and age, when there are so many people suffering financially, physically or emotionally, may the gift of God’s compassion flow through each of us.
Father God, help us to always see others through your eyes and to allow your compassion to flow through us out to them. Give us the words you would have us speak to these people to encourage them and edify them. In the name of Jesus, AMEN.
© Edwina E. Cowgill