For the last couple of weeks I’ve been thinking about how often we judge people, and how I would love to cease all manner of judgments on people. From the person driving too slow, the person who dresses weird, etc. I’ve been praying about it and asking God to open my heart to allow Him to be able to work that out in my life. I knew I wouldn’t be able to do that on my own, it was going to take Him.
At church last night we had a visiting minister who talked about compassion.
That’s the word I’d been looking for and didn’t realize it.
I would love to think that people would describe me as a compassionate person – but I know they wouldn’t. I’m incredibly selfish. Sure, if I see someone struggling with a door or dropping papers, I’ll help them because it isn’t going to take more than a few seconds out of my day. But what if someone needs a meal cooked for them, a ride to church, or even worse – money? I’m guilty of saying “It’d be really nice if someone did ______ for them.” but never thinking that it should be me. It’s not that I don’t think that it shouldn’t be me, I just generally don’t even think about being the one who takes care of someones need.
I don’t think that in order to be compassionate that it has to be God working in a person’s life. I just think that in order for me to be compassionate, it’s going to take God. Unfortunately, compassionate just isn’t who I am on a daily basis. I work with a couple of people who are filled to the brim with genuine compassion. People affect them in a different way than me. They will easily cry along with someone, offer rides to customers, or offer to deliver things for customers who are unable to do it for themselves for whatever reason. I just never think about helping people like that. I’ll feel sorry for the person in need, but I can’t remember the last time I was brought to tears over a stranger’s sorrow. I certainly can’t remember the last time (if ever) that I’ve been brought to action for a stranger’s need.
On a spiritual level, I honestly can’t say that I’ve ever been kept up at night thinking about people who don’t know God. I’ve never had that kind of spiritual compassion for people either. Even when I see someone praying, someone who has never known the touch of God, or who has and now is in need of God’s grace again – I will sit in my seat and pray for them, but never am I moved enough with compassion to get right there in the spiritual trenches with them.
If there are levels of compassion, I would only rate myself on a level one – things that require only seconds of my time. I’m desperately relying on God to move in my life to bring me to any other level of compassion. It will never ever happen by any of my own doing.