A friend recently told me how a mutual friend of ours had made some wrong choices and called them for help. I said, “You didn’t help them did you?” They said, “No.” I said, “Good! They need to learn they can’t keep making these choices and think everyone is just going to bail them out.” Immediately I felt the conviction of the Holy Spirit. Where was the compassion in my heart? Where was the good in me that wants to help others? I was choosing who deserved it, and God was getting on to me.
What if God had that attitude toward me? What if He said, “I’ve already forgiven you of this same sin over and over. I think I’ll just let you deal with it instead of me helping you. Maybe then you’ll figure it out”? That would be devastating because when I sin, I run to God, beg Him to forgive me, and ask Him to bail me out when it comes to the consequences. I want Him to hear my prayer, see my heart, and to have compassion on me. For some reason, I fail to have that same compassion on others.
When I read of Jesus, one thing that always stands out to me is how He had compassion on the crowds. He was tired and hungry, but when people came to Him, He was moved with compassion to help them. As a CHRISTian, I am to be like Christ. To me, one of His greatest attributes was His compassion and His goodness to any who went to see Him. In Psalm 145:9 David wrote, “The LORD is good to everyone. He showers compassion on all his creation” (NLT).
If the Father is good to everyone and the Son showed compassion to everyone, wouldn’t it make sense that I do the same? Even if I can see someone’s choices and consequences, I can’t see their heart. If God has had compassion on me after I’ve made the same boneheaded mistake over and over again, I need to show that same compassion to others. I may never fully be Christ like, but I can at least move in that direction. One of things I can change is how I show compassion to those who I don’t feel deserve it because none of us deserve God’s. Thankfully He gives it to us anyway.