Practicing Compassion on the Job
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. (Matthew 9:36)
We're told that Jesus is touched with the feelings of our weaknesses because he was in all points tempted like we are (Hebrews 4:15). That continually comforts me as I go to Jesus with my problems, knowing that he's walked this path before me and he knows how I feel. That's how we become compassionate people ~ by putting ourselves in other people's shoes and feeling what they feel.
I remember a sermon where the minister challenged us to ask God to break our hearts with the things that broke his heart. Jesus' heart was broken when he saw harassed and helpless people, people who were without any purpose in life, people who had no compass for life, no meaning in life.
Do you have any of those people working around you? They may be people who irritate you a great deal and even cause you considerable trouble. But if you looked beyond their behavior and truly saw their condition, like Jesus did, you might be able to have compassion on them.
I've found that as soon as I can feel compassion for someone, as soon as I walk in their shoes even for a few minutes, my entire attitude changes. I respond very differently to someone for whom I feel compassion. I do things for someone for whom I have compassion that I wouldn't do otherwise. And in the process, I reduce my own stress immensely as I take the focus off of myself and put it on the other person.
Maybe those harassed and helpless people are in your life for a reason. Perhaps they need your compassion today.
To recognize the people in my life who need some compassion today.
Lord, I truly want to learn to have compassion for people as you did. I give you permission to break my heart over the things that break your heart, and I ask you to give me a kind and compassionate response for the harassed and helpless people in my life.
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