To express true compassion one must look outward beyond themselves, seeing the needs that exist beyond your own life. Philippians 2:4 says, ” Do not let each man look upon his own things, but each man also on the things of others. ” In other words take care of your business but have a perspective beyond your stuff and understand the needs of those around you.
It is an easy thing to discern the hurts and needs of some people. They tend to wear their problems on their shoulder along with a countenance that speaks volumes without a word being spoken. The conversation of some continually expresses their needs. Some even make it hard to reach out to them by their hardness and blame of others. Others have literal physical needs that are evident in their disabilities or disease. But we must be more like Christ, when he encountered the man who had leprosy, would reach out a healing hand and touch him in spite of the obvious.
Many folks work very hard to maintain a posture and an appearance that will mask their inner needs. The ability to see beyond the surface of these individuals can be a difficult thing. Extending compassion to these people requires more than a rapport, it requires the building of a relationship. The real pain will not surface until there is a sense of real trust. Those of us who have a relationship with Christ know that we can, “trust in God with all our hearts,” as Proverbs 3:5 tell us. But God has called us to minister to the needs of all men, not just Christians. The trust of unbelievers, most often, must be earned before the mask is removed and the heart is exposed to God.
As believers, wherever we go we will encounter those who have lost their way. Bruises, brokenness and blindness have hindered people from accepting, trusting and understanding a God who loves and accepts them just where they are. Jesus commissioned us to speak words of hope, the Gospel, to them all, because they are tired and scattered like sheep. True compassion is when we see them and reach out to them with a heart of love.
Mat 9:36 But seeing the crowds, He was moved with compassion on them, because they were tired and scattered like sheep having no shepherd.