by Minister Melanie Dees Campbell
Ark Ministries Hope of the World
“But there, for the grace of God, go I,” is something I have said since a teenager. If not for the Lord, I could have made devastating choices when at the crossroads of life. The grace of God and prayer are the foundation for developing true compassion, the concern for the sufferings and misfortunes of others.
Compassion combined with empathy provides the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Yet, compassion and empathy do little if not presented with the truth of the Messiah. When we make an effort to understand others who have not yet received the love of Yahshua/Jesus we mustn’t allow human compassion to override the Lord’s compassionate truths.
All people should be treated as valuable which is why we listen with our hearts as well as our ears. Some merely wait to talk missing that the key to good communication is listening. Our primary purpose for communicating compassion and empathy is that we want everyone to know the Messiah so that they too receive the Lord’s compassionate love, restoration, and healing.
Society’s compassion has erroneously developed a culture promoting sin. It is also repeating history with promoting antisemitic rhetoric which is resurfacing through ignorance, falsehoods, and prejudice. This coupled with Anti-Christ standards, now being the norm in media and entertainment, has led many to agree with what the culture designates for compassion. Our God teaches us to not stone others with caustic tongues, verbally assaulting and insulting the lost and hurting. Cultural compassion is not the same as our compassion which is based on leading others to the Lord’s love. Societal chaos may swirl around us but we are not to be part of it.
To mature in empathy and compassion we should aspire to the true compassion and empathy of the Messiah. Yahshua/Jesus felt for those he healed and restored but he never tolerated or approved of sin. We know (John 5:1-15, John 8:3-11) he said, “Go and sin no more.” He did not say his love would condone sin; his love paid for it. Just as he taught he who is without sin should cast the first stone. Our words can be stones of death to another soul or they can be restorative healing balms leading to truth.
Our thoughts of loving God and others upon receiving God’s grace and mercy, will produce compassion and empathy. Proverbs 23:7 tells us that as a man “thinks in his heart, so is he.” Let us remember we who know the Lord are held to a higher standard. “May the words of my mouth and my heart reflections, please you Lord, my rock and redeemer.” (Psalm 19:15)
Admittedly, it is easier to have compassion and empathy with some and harder with others but in serving our Lord we can represent him to all without compromise. I suggest writing a personal prayer asking the Lord for mature empathy and compassion while walking in the strength and love of the Messiah without compromising the truth of the scriptures.
Dr. Michael Brown said it well, “As followers of Jesus today, we need hearts of compassion and backbones of steel.”
Blessings and Shalom