Practical Compassion

By: Pastor Jarren Rogers

“Let us touch the dying, the poor, the lonely and the unwanted according to the graces we have received and let us not be ashamed or slow to do the humble work” – Mother Teresa

I watched a video recently that was attempting to raise money for a ministry project. In this video, the narrator laid out the issue for which they were raising money and then he said something that caught my attention. He attempted to describe what we, the giver, would be participating in by helping raise money for this cause.

Two words:

Practical compassion.

Hearing these words struck me. Having compassion is one thing, but practical compassion? That’s something completely different.

I think that it’s easy for most people to show compassion for someone else. When we hear stories of those who are starving, those in human trafficking, or those who are being abused, our hearts break and we feel something deep inside of ourselves. A longing for justice to be had, for the wrongs to be made right in people’s lives.

You see, I think our feelings of compassion on the lost and the hungry is one way the Holy Spirit speaks into our lives, by breaking our hearts for the same reasons the heart of God is broken. However, it’s only one side of the coin.

The other side is “practical compassion”. It’s not just feeling sorry for someone and moving on, it’s going out there and getting your hands dirty. If you look at Scripture, God never urges us to simply feel pity for those in need, he calls us to act.

Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. Let the oppressed go free, and remove the chains that bind people. Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help,” (Isaiah 58:6-7).

Get involved in practical compassion. Don’t just feel sorry for those who are in need.

Feed the hungry.

Clothe the naked.

Shelter the homeless.

Parents: Show your family the importance of getting involved in practical compassion. Try to come up with ideas with your children of ways that you can help those around you.

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