Just a quick glance at the daily news reveals a world filled with compromise, scandal, and dark secrets. One thing lacking in so many of our would-be heroes and media-made mentors is integrity. It's not sinlessness; it's authenticity.
“There's a story in the Bible I can't wrap my head around. It's when Jesus talks to the rich man who has kept the law all his life and tells him to sell everything he has and give it to the poor. Why would that do anyone any good? If I gave all my money to the poor then I would have nothing. Then I would be the charity case. How would that be helping the kingdom?”
One Monday morning my wife left me. Packed up some earthly belongings, our only daughter, and a Visa card before heading west for a week, leaving Jeffrey, Stephen, and me to fend for ourselves.
I had never given the idea of compassion much thought until a few months ago when in the midst of a friend’s crisis, I felt gut wrenching pain and realized, for the first time, this was what true compassion felt like.
There are so many examples of Christ being moved by compassion for others. He physically reached out and touched people. He wasn't held back by anxiety, doubt, or fear. Genuinely feeling compassion for others and reaching out is courageous. As Jackson explains, “A heart immersed in compassion will overcome superficial barriers.”
To be compassionate, we must take others' feelings into consideration. We must be understanding of the other person's story. It means not being caught up in self-centredness, being willing to look at and see their pain and then look past it to the need of their heart.
Looking back more than 60 years, I've learned a valuable lesson: when people are hurting, they need much more than an accurate analysis and a quick diagnosis. More than professional advice.
We battle the Devil. The Devil, also called Satan, was an elite angel who rebelled against God, seeking to steal His glory and usurp His authority. He became the commander-in-chief of a war against God so God cast him out of heaven with a minority of angels now known as demons. Satan and his demons operate by deceiving us, seducing us, blinding us, accusing us, and seeking to influence us in such a way as to defeat us and thereby rob God of His glory (Ephesians 6:12).
But it was like something out of a horror movie at first. Then I thought, Well, make the most of it. So I did. Sometimes the only thing I can control is my outlook. My response. This was definitely one of those times.