When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. – Matthew 9:36 (NLT)
Compassion. It’s like mercy wrapped in a package of grace. No one deserves it. Especially careless folks who waste their money on drugs, alcohol, or visits to the nearest casino or video poker parlor. Why should you help someone like that? Why should they get anything to eat? Why should anyone speak kindly to a loser? They’re just reaping what they’ve sown, right? Not necessarily.
For every panhandler on the street, drug addict in rehab, or rebellious child, you can probably point to wrong choices or dumb decisions that led to their plight. There’s only one problem with taking a harsh outlook towards others: I still love them, no matter how much they mess up. At some point in life, everyone makes mistakes, wastes money, or acts mean towards other people. So, where would this world be without My compassion for it? My Son demonstrated care for helpless and wandering people. And so should you.
Know what it feels like to need compassion?
Life is a learning process. At some point, you have felt helpless, disillusioned, or like you were stuck at the bottom of a well. Remember those feelings when someone else needs your help.
Compassion seeks the best for others, regardless of what they’ve done. If I kept a record of all your mistakes, it would fill 10 online encyclopedias. So, if you’ve climbed out of the messes you made, don’t pretend like you’ve never been there. Remember the people who helped you and extend a helping hand to someone else.
My compassion can’t be explained or understood on a human level. I never quit on people. Some may go for years whining, rebelling, and excusing away their bad choices by blaming their problems on someone else. Yet I see the vast potential that exists within each person when they make a decision to follow Me. I don’t see what they have done wrong, but what they can do right in the future.
Catalyst for Spiritual Growth
1 – Read Matthew 9:32-38 in the New Living Translation.
2 – What do you see Jesus doing in verses 33 and 35? How does the action He took affect the way you see reaching out to others?