2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NIV)
3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,
4who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
How the days fly by! In a few days’ time, it would be Christmas and I am pretty sure that most of you are very excited about it. We have been talking in this devotional series about Christmas and how we should rejoice for the right reasons and how it also serves as a reminder of God’s faithfulness in our lives. But most importantly, this season is not all about us but really, more about those around us.
So today, I would like to focus more on the latter point and go so far as to say that Christmas is also a season where we are reminded to show compassion, not because we are superior to others, not because we have to put on an act for people to see but because God is the One who first showed compassion and love to us by sending His only begotten Son, who is blameless and perfect, into the world on Christmas to become sin for us.
Compassion, as defined by the modern day dictionary, is a sympathetic pity or concern for the misfortunes of others. But, for Christians, I really believe it covers a little more than that. It’s not just about sympathy, or pity for that matter. As I read the Word of God about how the word is used, I strongly feel that compassion, to a believer of Christ, should be the urge to alleviate someone’s burden, to be a comforter and of course, to be a peacemaker. Even as a Man, there were instances where Jesus preached and healed crowds because He had compassion on them. One common misconception I would like to address is that compassion can only be had if someone is less fortunate than you. There can be times where the person could be more fortunate than you in almost every other aspect but could still have an area of need that you can bless him or her in. Therefore, do not turn away even if you think that the person probably leads a better life than you because after all, when we are talking about people who are lost, there will always be one thing that they need to have, regardless whether they know it or not.
So, coming back to the point about Christmas. Indeed, it is a time to be merry and joyous but there is also a certain degree of seriousness to it, if I may add. Even as you enjoy the festive season this year, always keep in mind the real reason for Christmas and don’t get so carried away that you forget about it. Remember, Christmas might be a season that is fun-filled for most but there are people whose Christmas season could be their loneliest time of the year, or maybe behind that smile that your friends or family give you, it actually hides their struggles with various issues. Hence, continue to be vigilant and sensitive in the Spirit even as the world celebrates, and administer that in-built compassion to those around you. The reason I say it is ‘in-built’ is because we, as children of God, have been born again and made righteous which also means we have God’s compassion in us. It really boils down to whether or not we want to rid ourselves of any judgmental mindset that could possibly hinder God’s work through us.
To end off, it is my hope that you see this season as a reminder to be compassionate and to bless those who are in need, which is technically everyone. Especially for people who do not yet know the Lord, just as Jesus had compassion on the crowd because they were like sheep with no shepherd, I pray that you will be the one that bridges the gap and connects them to our Shepherd, always keeping in mind that it is not by sweet nothings and sugar coated words that bring the lost to Christ, but by exercising God’s love and compassion.
“Dear Heavenly Father, I thank You that You sent Your Son down to die for us and atone for our mistakes even though we were so undeserving. I pray, Father, that even as You show us compassion and love that are beyond measure, I will make an effort to emulate all that You have shown and taught me to the best of my abilities, knowing that You will provide me with the strength and ability to do so. Wherever I go, may Your Holy Spirit continue to be prompting and guiding me to those who are in need and more so, in need of a Savior. I thank You that You have called me to be a child of Yours and one who makes peace and brings comfort. May I live out Your calling to the fullest and I pray that everything I do and every step I take please You. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.”