One of the books I’ve been using for my daily devotional reading is One at a time by Kyle Idleman. The chapter I read today was about compassion. Most of the time we think of compassion as a feeling. We hear about or even see an unfortunate situation and we “feel” sorry for that person. Then we move on.
If we examine the Bible, we find that Jesus often “felt compassion” for someone. However, the compassion of Jesus didn’t stop there. He did something. He raised the widow’s son (Luke 7:13-15), fed the crowd (Mark 6:34), restored sight to the blind man (Matt. 20:34). As the author puts it:
“When Jesus felt compassion, it was followed by an action, and it always created a story.”
There are any number of reasons that we fail to act on our feelings of compassion. For example, we may think:
- This problem is too big–there’s nothing I can do
- Many people see the problem — somebody else will do something
Unfortunately, the real reasons are simple — we just don’t care enough, or we don’t want to be inconvenienced.
Compassion calls us to become more like Jesus. It’s not just a sad feeling, it’s a reminder that we need to do something. Even if that something is small, it may make a big difference to that one person who is affected.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ Luke 25:34-36
For more about Christian action see:
The Laity — Christians in Action
A Call to Christian Character-Toward a Recovery of Biblical Piety–Book Review