Becoming More Compassionate

If you have social media, you’ve probably noticed a couple of different types of people. One airs all their laundry on there for the whole world to see. Another type uses the platform to boast about the bad things they’ve done as if they were a badge of honor. Yet another doesn’t put any of that out there, but you hear the gossip about their life in other ways. I have a confession to make. I tend to judge these people in my heart (and sometimes out loud) based on their behavior. I forget that these things are a result of their brokenness and need for healing, and I steer clear of them or block their posts. I initially don’t see them as a cry for help or grace, and I have to be reminded of that fact often. Hopefully you don’t suffer from this as well.

When I read the story of Jesus with the Samaritan woman at the well, I can’t help but think how Jesus knew her dirty laundry and still offered her grace. In John 10:4 Jesus said, “If you only knew what God gives and who it is that is asking you for a drink, you would ask him, and he would give you life-giving water” (GNT). He didn’t make fun of her for having been married five times or shame her because she was living with a man who wasn’t her husband. Instead He offered her forgiveness and healing through His living waters. She went and brought everyone from her town out to meet Jesus. As they approached, Jesus tells his disciples, “You have a saying, ‘Four more months and then the harvest.’ But I tell you, take a good look at the fields; the crops are now ripe and ready to be harvested!”

How many times have you and I looked at the harvest and saw their brokenness as an excuse to withhold grace? We think they’re either too far gone, not ready yet or we don’t feel comfortable sharing with them. We need to remember Jude 1:22-23 when we begin to have these thoughts. It says, “Keep being compassionate to those who still have doubts, and snatch others out of the fire to save them. Be merciful over and over to them, but always couple your mercy with the fear of God. Be extremely careful to keep yourselves free from the pollutions of the flesh” (TPT). What the broken people around us need is the compassion and mercy of Christ. They don’t need our jokes or the names we call them.

Lord, open my eyes to see the brokenness of others and to have compassion. Give me the courage to share your grace with them the way you showed it to the woman at the well. Open my eyes to see the harvest that’s around me today. Use me as an instrument of your grace to save those who are perishing. Forgive me for failing to do this in the past. Amen.

Photo by J W on Unsplash

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