How to Have Compassion: I read an article recently and it broke my heart to the core and in that moment I got a clearer understanding of why some people remain angry with the church. I’m not saying they are right, I’m just saying I have a better appreciation of why they are angry. The article literally begins – “you will get this if you are spiritually alive, if you are spiritually dead you won’t”. Lord have mercy!!! If you know people who are angry with the church and self righteous Christians…be encouraged.
Paul writes – everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial. In layman terms, many permissible things are ok to do. But because they are permissible doesn’t mean the use of that permissible thing is beneficial.
People heading to a lost eternity is an audience case in point. We know they are lost; they don’t. I repeat if it’s too obvious – we know they are heading to a lost eternity; they may not believe they are heading to a lost eternity.
So, while being in possession of that knowledge is permissible, the chosen use of that knowledge may not be beneficial to anyone!!
Back to the article – opening with a statement that if the reader doesn’t get the article means he/she is spiritually dead, is a little pompous don’t you think? It assumes the writer is able to communicate their message however good to every human on earth – perfectly. It leaves absolutely no room to entertain the thought that the writers style may not appeal or even be immediately understood by everyone.
I’m not being negative; many people in positions of authority do not like challenge and in extreme cases associate challenge with disunity. They accept challenge from people on their perceived level and no one else – that is also an issue.
We read of Paul raising an issue with Peter on his approach to Jews and gentiles. We read of the prophet Samuel explaining to the king is deeds in Bathsheba-gate. We read of uncle Jethro explaining to Moses his flawed management style.
So challenge is par-for-the-course and should be distinguished from unhealthy criticism e.g. Children of Israel to Moses – “you brought us here to kill us”.
We as followers of Jesus must have compassion, true compassion towards the lost. Yes we know winning souls is our job, but to truly win, you must have a love for the people you wish God to save.