We have just come out of a season of thanks and are entering a season of giving. Let us be mindful of the importance of doing things according to the will and ways of our Father as we proceed into this “most wonderful time of the year”.
In the world of social media connections we daily read seemingly heart felt wishes and condolences from people all over the world. We see the woes and heartaches published and offer emoji that symbolize prayers and sympathy. But, with the next swipe we have moved along to the post of our other hundreds of “friends” sharing about a new job, their children’s accomplishments, and new pet and totally forget about the dismay of the previous person.
Our present world has changed drastically from the one our grandparents grew up in. The present climate of politics, racism, and unfortunately the state of the church in America have all worked together to lessen the qualities that used to be abundant amongst us.
It is time for us to take a SEC. Sympathy, Empathy and Compassion.
Sympathy is the act or capacity of entering into or sharing the feelings or interests of another. While empathy refers to the ability to relate to another person’s pain vicariously, as if one has experienced that pain themselves. However, compassion takes it to the next level. Compassion is the sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it!
Compassion is the missing element that is so needful. It goes beyond caring and even understanding and adds to those things, service.
Compassion is much needed and relevant always because:
1. It is a characteristic of God. And one that He has in abundance!
Psalm 86:15 “But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, long suffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.” Lamentations 3:22 “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.” God’s ability to feel our pain and sorrow, and his yearning to provide remedy does not discontinue. It does not fail (take a nose dive; flop; miscarry). Even when it cannot be seen and is not recognized, it is still going. Isaiah 49:15 tells us that it is possible for humans to wain in compassion, but it is not possible for our God. “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not”
Regrettably, what happens a great deal is that God has the desire to alleviate our issue, but we do not like the medicine He’s providing. We refuse to take the dose of reality that He’s prescribed or even the chastening that His great love brings. But we can never say His compassion has miscarried.
2. It is God’s will that we express it to our brother.
Zechariah 7:9 “Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, Execute true judgment, and shew mercy and compassions every man to his brother:” 1 Peter 3:8 “Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, and be courteous:” It is not just a good idea, thought or gesture to be compassionate, it is God’s will. We are concerned as Christians with pleasing the Father, but turn our backs on our brother and sisters. This is not agreeable to Him. His desire is that we be full of concern and kindness towards are fellow man. We should be care full and not careless when responding to the needs of those in our circles and outside.
The next time you hear of a situation, and it is within your power to do good, please do not just post an emoji. Take some time to visit and pray, provide a meal, offer a ride, or just to be present with a listening ear. When we take the time to do good it always returns multiplied beyond our wildest imagination.