Not long ago I was reading a story out of Club House Junior magazine with my kids where an eight year old girl started serving the homeless in her community. By the time she was ten she started a foundation and now at the age of eighteen the foundation has raised over three million dollars to reach out and serve the homeless. How does a child, or anyone really, have that much of a drive and determination to serve others? Jesus gives us a clue in Matthew 9:36, "When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them,1 because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." Compassion.
Compassion is a beautifully motivating thing. I drives and moves us to act. But there is a crazy thing about compassion. It can't be conjured up on our own. We can't force ourselves to feel compassion. So where does compassion come from? How do we get compassion? It's by seeing. Jesus saw the people and therefore had compassion which therefore led Him to act. The little eight year old girl was moved to serve the homeless because she saw a homeless man eat out of the trash and was compelled. And with that feeling of compassion she took a tiny step rather than pushing it out of mind and heart.
Sometimes I go about motivating my kids backwards. Let's make bracelets to sell to give the money to give to _______. I try to motivate them by let's do something fun for a good cause which is not bad, it's just not driven by compassion. It's almost like it skips the heart.
So what do we do to grow in compassion and help others grow in compassion? We see, we put ourselves in positions to see what is around us and we observe. And we pray, "Lord, help me to see this/these people the way you do."
How can you become more observant of what's going on around you?
Laura, the founder of Missional Women is married and has five kids, two of whom are adopted. Laura and her husband have been missionaries to college students for 13 years serving with Master Plan Ministries where she is the Women's Development Coordinator. Laura has authored 5 books, including an award winning 12 week Bible Study on First Samuel, Beholding Him, Becoming Missional, Reach; How to Use Your Social Media Influence for the Glory of God, and A Devotional Journey through Judges, a devotional to accompany the free online Bible study at TheBookofJudges.com. You can find her on facebook, twitter, pinterest, youtube, instagram, periscope, blab and her author site.
If you'd like to read more from this contributor, type her name in the search box on the top right.
Sharing this over at these awesome blogs.