Christ-like Compassion in Daily Life

Then Jesus went to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every sickness. When He saw the crowds, He felt compassion for them, because they were weary and worn out, like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is abundant, but the workers are few. Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.” —Matthew 9:35-38 (HCSB)

In this week’s passage, we find Jesus teaching, preaching, and engaging compassionately with people. Revealed are two visible actions of Christlikeness—telling others what we know about Jesus and serving them by praying and meeting their spiritual, physical, and emotional needs. For many Christ followers, just the thought of doing these actions brings fear and leads to missed opportunities for spiritual growth.

Consider teaching and preaching. All of us have a story to tell of how Jesus came into our lives and how that has changed the way we live. This is the starting point of sharing the Good News—simply telling others what we know about Jesus and how He has changed our lives.

Also consider further engaging compassionately with people. The instructions are right before us.

1. Look around. Ministry starts by opening our eyes to opportunities around us. If you see someone with a need, do something. Times of celebration and crisis are great places to start as they are open doors to conversations, service, and ministry.

2. Demonstrate compassion. Empathy is the capacity to understand what another person is experiencing from within his or her own frame of reference. Jesus laughed, cried, celebrated, and grieved just like us. He felt compassion, which led to action.

3. Pray. In prayer, we find courage and confidence to meet opportunities before us. In conversation with God, we realize that He will equip and empower us to fulfill that which He called to do. Prayer is often the place of decision. Here we discover our role in ministry opportunities; Is it the time to focus only on prayer, or is it time to take action in addition to prayer?

4. Serve. Beyond prayer, this is when the action takes place. It is where faith intersects with life. This is moving beyond the knowing and feeling and doing what God has already equipped us to do.

I often wonder why those who profess Christ make following Him so difficult. Look around, tell others what you know about Jesus, demonstrate compassion, pray, and serve. This is moving forward toward a Christ-centered life.