When we look out in our world at those far from God, what are the first emotions that come into our heart?
- Anger (at the effect of sin on our world)?
- Disgust (by other people’s sin)?
- Self-Righteousness (comparing our sin with theirs)?
When we look at those far from God, do we feel compassion? This question is an important one that reveals the condition of our soul.
In Luke 19, Jesus approaches Jerusalem, the city in which he would soon be condemned and outside of which he would be killed. His response? Jesus wept.
As He drew near and saw Jerusalem, He wept over her, saying, “If only you had recognized this day the things that lead to shalom! But now they are hidden from your eyes” (Luke 19:41,42 TLV).
It’s interesting to see the heart of God in Christ. Jesus’ anger seems to be primarily reserved for self-righteous religious people (see Matthew 23). But for those who are lost, without God and without hope, He has tears of compassion.
God-like compassion is more than a feeling. Jesus’ compassion didn’t stay simply a feeling; it moved Him to action, to Gethsemane, and the Cross for our sake. If our compassion is to be a reflection of God’s heart, it must move us to action on behalf of those far from Him.
As followers of Christ, do we have compassion for people far from God and without hope? Is our compassion so authentic that it moves us to redemptive action? Do we find ourselves engaging with people far from God and developing friendships with them?
What emotions do you experience when you see the brokenness and sin of a friend? Where can you ask Christ to give you his heart and compassion? What redemptive steps can you take to engage with someone in your sphere of influence who is not yet acquainted with Jesus?