How many times have you demanded swift punishment when someone wronged you…when your children disobeyed you…or when your co-worker failed you?
How many times have you been irritated when someone interrupted you?
Bothered you while you were reading or working or eating?
Better yet, how many times have you overlooked a person who needed help? Someone who is stranded in illness or struggling to make ends meet?
Tough Questions I Fail
It’s no secret: I can be a misanthrope.
I prefer ideas over people. Books over conversation. And long stretches of silence over a rowdy New Year blowout.
Furthermore, I demand swift punishment when my children spill lemonade. And I refuse money to a blind drunk feeling his way out of an alley.
This kind of low-grade irritation and subtle rage with mankind is in all of us–it’s part of the human condition.
It’s part of our corrupt nature.
Could You Cultivate More of This Virtue in Your Life?
Exactly opposite this vice is the virtue you and I so desperately need more of if we want to be authentic, biblical Christians.
What is this virtue?
It’s nothing more than old-fashion compassion. In other words, a deep awareness of the suffering of others…and a wish to relieve that suffering.
Personally, I need more compassion. In my home. My office. My blog. This becomes apparent to me more and more everyday.
Could you be more compassionate?
One of the ways we could cultivate more compassion in our lives is if we decided to serve relentlessly…listen carefully…forgive easily…and invest our time in family and friends liberally.
But Let Me Share a Little Secret with You…
Even if you did these things every day for the next year, you’re still failing miserably.
While it’s good, practical advice to do those things, they miss half the equation of Christian compassion. The really important half…
See, in the end, compassion is meaningless if you don’t take into consideration the whole person.
Giving a blind drunk a hot sandwich is cruel if you don’t cater to his soul. The soul which will live forever. Either in heaven. Or hell.
The Bible teaches that we must believe in Christ to slip out from under God’s wrath…and live in eternal peace. But people can’t believe if they haven’t heard the gospel.
And how will they hear unless someone tells them? So, my advice to you is this: Preach the gospel…and use deeds when necessary.
Otherwise, you might as well give the poor drunk roller skates so he can glide into hell. And while roller skating is fun, hell isn’t.
So, reader, let’s be more compassionate toward people’s immediate AND eternal needs. Okay? Okay.