Compassion…the Christian’s Duty (Jude 22)
Jude 22, “And of some have compassion, making a difference.”
Compassion gets involved with others. People struggle today to get involved with other people. If people have any kind of relationship with one another, for many, it is through their phones or I-pads instead of having eye contact with people. We are becoming more isolated from others.
A few years ago, Snoopy, the beagle in the Charlie Brown cartoons, had his left leg broken. Hundreds wrote letters to Snoopy or sent sympathy cards. Perched on top of his dog house one day and staring at his huge cast, Snoopy began to philosophize about his plight. "My body blames my foot for not being able to go places. My foot says it was my head's fault, and my head blames my eyes. My eyes say my feet are clumsy, and my right foot says not to blame him for what my left foot did." Snoopy looks out at his audience and confesses, "I don't say anything because I don't want to get involved."
This attitude does not belong among God's people. We are to be concerned and involved in serving Jesus Christ. The watchword of society today is "privacy." This is true even of Christians. People want to be left alone or given their space. Commitments have become short term, even in marriage. We are adopting the unwritten regulation observed in elevators, "Absolutely no eye contact, talking, smiling, or relating without the written permission from the management." Our role model is becoming the Lone Ranger, mask and all.
This kind of life of isolation is not what God intended for us who know Jesus Christ as Saviour. We are not to be turtles in a shell. We are to get involved in blessing others and reaching them for Christ. You won't do this in your shell.
Involvement is a word of “ministry”. Webster says, "Involvement means to draw in as a participant, relate closely, to connect or include." We are to be involved with God, family, Christians, and reaching the lost for the Lord Jesus Christ.
James 1:27, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”
The word "visit" means more than going by a house and saying "Hello." This word has the idea of getting involved in the lives of others, providing for them, helping them out, and caring for them if they cannot care for themselves. It is a word of giving and sacrifice.
It is important that we have a genuine concern for other people. When we do, it will lead us to have compassion on them and desire God’s best for their life. This is not a natural reaction of the flesh, but it is a quality that needs to be manifested in our life if we are going to be all that God wants us to be. A person without compassion will embrace callousness and never be close to God. We need to have compassion like Jesus and have a genuine heart of love that desires to help other people.
George Washington Carver said, “How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these.”
Prayer: Lord, I desire so much to be compassionate. Use me as a vessel of compassion to a world in need. I want to be aware of those in need. Please let me see those around me that are in need of hope. Compel me to listen to them, to hear their needs. Let me be what others need, Lord. In Jesus name Amen.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.