How often do we see the needs and brokenness of others and our hearts break for them? This happens to me all the time! I'll be scrolling through social media and see an article about war, death, sickness, abandonment, e.c.t. and my heart will break....
but then I keep scrolling.
I might say a one time prayer for the person/situation, but after that I scroll past and the situation goes out of mind.
If we are honest, most of us are guilty of momentary compassion. It isn't hard for us to have compassion, but it is a whole new concept to have compassion that leads us to action.
Jesus is the ultimate example of having compassion that leads to action. Every time the Bible specifically mentions compassion in relation to Jesus, it is followed by action.
Mark 6:34 says, "And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. So He began to teach them many things."
Jesus gives us the perfect example of how to be moved with compassion. Let's break down the three things He did:
1) First, Jesus feels that initial emotion of compassion. This is the moment where most people go, "Aww such a shame" and then keep scrolling. Jesus, however, took action. True love is a sacrificial action, not just an emotion.
2) Second, Jesus identifies the core issue. This is a BIG step! They were like sheep gone astray without anyone to lead them. When we are moved with compassion, we must identify the core issue so we can meet them there. This is a challenge to look past politics, past personal grudges, past pride, past anything that is surface level, and examine the core reason for the situation. It will always come down to sin. We live in a sin fallen world. All of the brokenness and darkness is either a direct or indirect result of sin. Challenge yourself to view every situation with a spiritual lens first.
3) Jesus met them in their need and served them accordingly. He met them there, but His end-goal was to not leave them there. They were as sheep gone astray and needed someone to direct them to truth. He caters to this need and begins teaching them.
Next time you have compassion, allow it to move you to action. Here are some ways you can take action:
Financially - This is the one you hear about the most when it comes to taking action. God calls us over and over to use our blessings to be a blessing to others, BUT don't be fooled into thinking this is the only way you can serve.
With your time - Simply giving of your time is a HUGE deal! If you know the person you could offer to be a listening ear. If you don't know the person, you could take the time to research their situation and then bring awareness to others who can maybe serve in another way.
With your talents - This goes hand-in-hand with your time. If you are using your talents you will also be using your time. Volunteer, make a meal, create graphics to raise awareness, make a card, send a kind message. Whatever talents God has blessed you with, use those to be a blessing to others.
Jesus was the ultimate and perfect example of being moved with compassion when He gave Himself for us on the cross. He looked on us with endless love. He identified the issue. We were lost in sin with no hope. He then took action and clothed Himself in flesh. He stepped into this world, lived a perfect life, and then He was brutally tortured and killed upon the cross to pay the price for our sins. He rose again, bringing victory over death and defeating sin. There is freedom from sin in Jesus when we ask for forgiveness and give our lives to Him. He has provided a way to eternal life, purpose for today, and hope for tomorrow through eternity.
When we act with compassion, let's share the true and ultimate compassion that Jesus shows us.