Monday, November 9, 2009

Stand for Christian Compassion

How do you respond to someone who maliciously attacks you? How do you respond to someone you believe is a danger or threat to society? How do you respond to a drug addict or someone addicted to pornography or gambling? Most of us, sadly, do not respond to these situations and persons in a way that is biblical. Often we strike back at those who hurt us. Those whom we see as a threat to society we want to see removed from power or locked up, and we leave it at that. In short, we fall victim ourselves to a judgmental attitude. But how ought we to respond?

Jesus said, "Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you" (Matt 5: 44, ESV). Where does Christian compassion begin? How can you and I find it in ourselves to model before the world the heart of God toward the lost and enslaved in sin a winsome compassion that draws them to Christ?

Many years ago, while preparing a sermon on John 11: 35, "Jesus wept," I came across a definition of compassion somewhere that went like this: "Pity moved to action." It's one thing to pity someone in a terrible plight. It's another to do something about it. Down here in the South we often say "Bless his heart," which is just another way of saying "poor thing". It's an expression of pity. But it's not compassionate. This week I'm going to look at ways you and I can show compassion to those who would seek to do us harm and those who are trapped in bondage and need the liberty that only Christ can give. I'm going to look at ways to see others as Christ sees them and as he saw us in our need of salvation. I'm going to look at ways to treat others as Christ treated us and continues to treat us--with undeserved love. This week I want to explore what it means to stand for compassion--pity moved to action.


  1. Oh, I like that "pity moved to action". That will be in the front of my mind this week. I may often confuse empathy with compassion.

  2. Yeah, that thought has stayed with me for some thirty years. I think I read it in Vine's New Testament Dictionary, but I'm not sure. It's been too long.