Why We Fail at Compassion

 

            There is a great mystery in the world: Why do Christians, the keepers of the message of compassion, seem to be a bit compassion-deficient? I think the answer is simpler than might be expected. We don't follow Christ's example. Oh, we certainly try to follow his lead, and that's why we fail. We are only following him halfway.  

 

            Jesus was as radical as could be when it came to sin. Clearly, he despised it. Many Christians have that part down, and the disapproving glances we send sinners' way are the proof. But the difference is that Jesus saw the peril people faced because of their sin, and was moved with compassion by it. Jesus saw the masses as sheep without a shepherd, and knowing their ignorance (the cause of their sinfulness) he said, “Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into His harvest.”   

 

            Since I brought up this enigma of the failure of compassion in many Christian's lives, I suppose I should try to form an answer to the problem. We need to look at Christ as our example. Christians lack compassion because we see the sinfulness of the world and, like Jesus, we become angered. That's the easy part. But we only go halfway in following Christ's example. When He saw the world as sheep without a shepherd, his compassion stirred him to want to help.

 

                                   

The Son of God in tears

                                    The wondering angels see;

                                    Be thou astonished, O my soul!

                                    He shed those tears for thee.

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