SHELBYVILLE, IL. —
What does it mean to show compassion for people?
People in this county are suffering, there is no denying that. The question is not do we reactor even should we react, but how we react. Most of us are faced with seeing people suffering everyday; it could be financially, from the loss of a loved one, or maybe it is as simple as suffering because of a lack of sleep. Speaking from experience my wife and I have suffered from all three, but in all three cases someone showed compassion on us and we were blessed by their faith in God.
Compassion is not just showing sympathy, it is more than that. Compassion is sympathy in action. There is a story in the Gospel of Luke that explains Christ showing compassion. Christ and his disciples were walking to a town while a funeral procession was walking out of town. Christ saw the mother of the dead son crying and the scripture says he “had compassion” on her and told her “Do not weep” (7:13). Christ wasn’t just sympathetic to her situation, he felt compelled to move to help her out. Being that Christ is God and the bringer of life, he told the dead man to arise and the man sat up and spoke. Christ then gave the man back to his mother, a beautiful picture of compassion at work. A formerly deceased man was being embraced by a formerly weeping mother. At the end of the passage it says that all that witnessed the event went away praising God.
How are you to show compassion? You are not God and therefore you cannot raise a person from the dead. However, there are many other things that you can do. First you have to realize that your goal is not for the recognition of your compassion, but for those who you bless to glorify God. Second, you have to keep your eyes open for opportunities. Sometimes it is as simple as a conversation or mowing a yard, and sometimes it is money that is needed. If you are not looking for ways to be compassionate, you will not find them, so keep your eyes and ears open to show love to people. Third, remember how others have been compassionate to you. Recalling the feelings of when you were shown compassion will encourage you to do the same to others— a kind of pay it forward mentality.
The Bible tells us that we are to be compassionate to others because it points people to God. So go out and be a blessing to someone who is in need, I promise you will not regret it!
Chase Smith is the pastor of Fellowship Baptist Church in Shelbyville. For more information from Chase or the church call 774-3636 or visit www.fellowshipinshelbyville.com.