36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Matthew 9:36-38 NIV
One of my kids had an opportunity to perform. They had the ususal questions leading up to the event. “Will I be good enough, will they like what I wear, what if I make a mistake?” My response, “Don’t worry about what others are thinking, they are too consumed with thoughts about themselves, to spend much time thinking about you.”
Taking time to observe others can open up a heart of compassion. Managing our own life’s problems is usually a full time job for most of our own thinking. The Bible refers to this as being entangled with life’s affairs.
Helpful ideas to gain from observing others.
- Be very careful NOT to judge. There is a temptation when we observe the frailties of others, to move to judgment about their predicament. This will thwart all attempts toward compassion for them.
- Begin to observe their countenance. The weight of the world is a hard thing to bear.
- Listen to the concerns that they share. Are they talking about lack of finances, broken vehicles, or family problems? They are not just whining, but revealing the issues on their heart.
- Watching TV provides only a little help, because it can lead to a jaded view of life. It rarely spurs us on to compassion. The volume of “bad news” that we have to filter through desensitizes us.
- Ask God to help you have fresh eyes to observe the pain in your city. This will include lower income areas, closed business, divorce rates, hospital care, how the elderly are treated, and many other issues.
- You have the capacity to “see with your mind’s eye” just like Jesus did. As a follower of Jesus, you have the “mind of Christ.”
The end result of observing should move us into a compassionate thought, “Lord who is going to help them?” Maybe it will be you.
Blessings Love y’all