"Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another.” Colossians 3:12-13a (ESV)
You drive past the homeless in your city. A girl lacking modesty walks into your church. Teenagers are smoking pot in the park by your house, again. A person with mental illness posts something strange on your Facebook wall.
The thoughts and attitudes that surface at these times reveal the state of our hearts. I don’t always like what I see in my heart when those very “different” or very “needy” cross my path or seek my attention. When my immediate reaction is frustration, annoyance or even judgment, I know I have a long way to go in truly showing compassion and kindness to all of those created in God’s image.
So how do we put on Christ’s compassion and kindness?
- We confess our unloving attitudes and ask Him to change us.
- We pray for those who we are tempted to think less of.
- We put love into action, serving and listening to those in need.
- We remember that it’s not our job to change anyone. We leave that up to God.
In so doing we model our Savior who never turned away those in need:
“When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” (Matthew 9:36)
Remember: Jesus lives inside of you and He is more than willing to disciple you in the ways of compassion.
Lord Jesus, I entrust my heart to You today. I have failed to follow Your example of love. Please purify my attitudes so I can see others with Your compassion, showing patience and kindness to those in need. Amen.
Think of someone you are frustrated with or tempted to think less of. Start with steps one and two above. Then ask God how you can serve this person. Make sure to put a reminder in your calendar for how you will put love into action.
You can Love by Faith.