"When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." Matthew 9:36 (NLT)
Jesus didn’t look out on the crowds and say, “Look at all those filthy sinners. I can’t believe I am going to give my life for such an unworthy and ungrateful bunch.”
If we are honest, we have thought and said similar things about people. We have allowed a critical heart to take the place of a compassionate one.
Compassion can be summed up in one word - concern. Jesus didn’t criticize the crowd of people, He was concerned for them. He was concerned about their current condition of being lost and hurting. He was concerned about their eternal condition if they remained in their sin without hearing the Good News.
You see, love for others will always translate into compassion and not criticism.
It’s just easier to be critical. It doesn’t require any energy or sacrifice on our part. Just speak about a person's obvious failures and problems and boom, success.
Compassion is just the opposite. It doesn’t see problems, it sees people. It doesn’t see an issue, but an opportunity. It takes action in order to bring God’s love up close and personal. Compassion can’t help itself because it is motivated by the heart and Spirit of God.
The compassion of God is what we need, and the good news is this - if you are a Jesus follower today, the Bible says you have the ability to be compassionate.
Listen to Romans 5:5…
Romans 5:5 (NLT)
5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
If you have asked Jesus to forgive you and become your Savior, this verse says that we have been given Jesus’ Holy Spirit that has filled out hearts with His kind of love. His kind of love is concerned about others first and is not concerned about the approval of people but the applause and approval of Jesus.
Lord Jesus, forgive me when I have chosen to be critical to being compassionate. Thank you that you look at me with compassion. Thank you that you have poured out your love into my heart so I can have compassion for others. Amen!