Summary: A look at the example of the compassion that Christ showed and how we should imitate His example of compassion.
Confessions: I Struggle to Show Compassion Like Christ Did
I learn more and more about the importance of being honest with ourselves, especially concerning our relationship with Christ. I think that sometimes we as the church live an idealistic life. We don’t like to admit faults; we are too stoic and proud to confess sin to one another sometimes. Perhaps the bottom line is sometimes we just are not satisfied with mere humanity. You would think from the way that some people act and speak that they feel as if they are deity.
To be honest with you I do not like the fact that I am a fallen creature. I do not like the fact that I wrestle and struggle daily with sin. I do not like the fact that I neglect doing many of the things that God calls me to do. I just don’t like the fact that I am a fallen being that falls short of the glory of God. I don’t know if I do not like it because I don’t like that God knows those things about me, or because I may come to the conclusion that I am not perfect, or because others may realize that I am a sinner. I hope that you may be able to identify with me through this message. This morning I want to confess something that I struggle with, something, which I believe, has application to everyone. I will admit that perhaps this is a sermon that I need to hear more than others need to hear, but I do believe that our struggles may be more similar than we would like to admit.
Most everyone probably knows that a few weeks ago Stephanie was in the hospital with Kidney stones. They discharged her late one evening and she was excited to be able to go home. As we were leaving the hospital I looked and noticed that we were low on gas. It was late at night and we weren’t in the area of town where I felt most comfortable, but nevertheless we stopped to get gas. As we pulled into the gas station a lady approached me as I got out of the car and began to carry on a conversation with me. The whole time I kept thinking that this lady wasn’t all there. I wanted more than anything else for her just to leave me alone, we were tired, ready to go home, and just wanted a few dollars of gas. I just didn’t feel like being bothered.
Over the last little bit I am learning some things. I am learning that the Kingdom of God is about people. I am learning that God is all about people. I am learning that the church is about people. I am learning that my role as an evangelist is about people. Sometimes I do not handle people the way that I should. I don’t like to admit it, but sometimes I struggle to love people and to show compassion like Christ did. Does anyone else feel the same way? After all, Jesus said the second greatest command was to love our neighbor as our self.
Different people have different personalities and some people seem to have a natural ability and desire to show compassion to people. These people’s hearts break over those that are in need and hurting. Some people are compassionate people. I must admit that sometimes I am not as compassionate as I would like to be or as I should be. As you read through the gospels you can see that people is what mattered the most to God in the flesh. You can see that Jesus loved people in an amazing way, he loved and treated people like no one else in His Society ever did or ever since then. On Eight separate occasions in Jesus’ ministry the gospel writers specifically mention that Jesus felt compassion on the crowds. Obviously Jesus was moved to compassion many other times and probably many other times that the Scriptures do not even record.
The truth of the matter is that we as Christians are called to show that same type of compassion and love towards other people in this world. I don’t know about you, but I struggle to show compassion and love like Christ did. I realize that the things I do are not the most important things, but perhaps my love for God and my love for other people is the most important aspect of faith. So often our love for people is drowned out in our own busyness and we forget what it is all about and what is most important. I am here this morning to remind you and remind myself that the Kingdom of God is more about others than it is me. The Kingdom of God revolves around how we interact and respond with others and the compassion and love we show to them.