True Compassion: Where Do You Stand?

Last night we continued our series on #Struggles by Greg Groeschel and we read from Luke 10:25-37.

Social media has become a major player in the way we communicate and interact. For a lot of us, it is the only way we communicate with others. Sure, it has its pros but it also has had a negative impact on our communication and that negativity is seeping into our hearts.

Social media has given us the ability to tell others that we care without us actually having to care. You can easily like a photo of a baby but not really even think anything of the baby. It’s almost if you’re liking out of habit rather than love or concern.

Not only that but the ability to share or repost information is at the tips of our fingers. Did you hear about the school bus crashing and killing several children? Did it even phase you or did you scroll past it along with the Thanksgiving recipes from Martha Stewart? We have become desensitized to horrors of our world because it is in our face every moment of every day. Murder? Normal. Discrimination? Normal. Injustice? Normal.

But here’s the thing, these issues, even if they are frequently happening, should not be normal in the sense that it goes in one ear and out the other. True Christians, people who follow Christ and model their lives after Him, should be moved with compassion for the problems and injustices in the world. God saw you in your grief and He was moved with compassion to reach out and save you. God had a passion for you that was so overwhelming that He sent his only Son to die. And once you’re saved, that’s not the end of the story. God commands of you to pass the baton.

Maybe you’re feeling like there’s nothing that you’re passionate about. You see the news and the people around you and you feel nothing. Well, that is a symptom of serious problem! If there is not a single thing that you feel compassion for, you might want to reevaluate if you truly love God with all your passion/heart, prayer/soul, muscle/strength, and intelligence/mind. Ask God to open your heart and eyes to see what He sees.

We live in a world where we are trained to look out for number one, ourselves. Everything is centered around us and how we look to those who are watching. Every volunteer position or job applied for is strategic so that you can look the most well rounded or the most focused. Even our good deeds seem to only have the purpose to give us a good feeling. Nonprofit marketing suggests that when you’re campaigning for funds to make sure you let the people know what they are gaining by donating to the homeless children in the inner city. It all is ultimately self-centered and shallow.

But when we encounter Jesus? Well, that changes things. We realize that we have to die to ourselves and to put God first. But if we were to be honest, we would say that even if we do put God first, we’re a close second. We start to wade through the waters of Christianity and discover who God is and who we are in Christ. Until you realize those things, it’s hard to understand love or how to love, at least it was for me. Before I knew who I was in Christ, it didn’t matter how many “I love yous” or “you look great” that I heard, I didn’t know how to receive it or even give it back. I was broken. If I couldn’t love myself, I definitely couldn’t love anyone else. But you have to love yourself in order to properly love others. The Bible commands to “love your neighbor as you love yourself.” We are all on an equal playing field. I am not better than you. You are not better than me. You have value, I have value. We have to start put those facts into practice.

The awesome thing about developing a relationship with Christ is how you grow and blossom. Slowly as you accept who God is, what He’s done for you, and who you are in Christ, He starts to give you a true passion for the people around you. You start to notice the homeless people that you drive by every single day or your coworker’s change in demeanor. You see a child without a family and your heart breaks. You become more aware and God begins to call you to give your time, money, or listening ear.

You once just scrolled past pain and now… you can’t. God starts calling you to step out into what’s messy and involved. He starts telling you to invest in people’s lives. He starts to tell you that it is not enough to love people from afar. You can’t just like posts or send happy birthday messages in a facebook chat. You’re going to have to stick around when the going gets tough. Your compassion has to persevere when the good feeling goes away. You begin to realize that God has called us to a type of compassion that interrupts, costs, and changes lives.

Jesus is our ultimate example. He lived a life that was always God first, others second, and Himself third. He lived a life of compassion. He responded to the people who interrupted His life and made it messy. That is our goal as Christians. Look into your life. Can you honestly say that you live a life that invests into others and is of true compassion? Or is your lack of compassion standing between your coworkers/friends/family and their salvation?