Compassion – Dealing with Differences


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The word ‘compassion’ denotes deep love, mercy, and tender affection. Looking at these words side-by-side right now, all I see is Jesus. Jesus was THE embodiment of compassion. In several places in the new testament the authors describe Jesus like this: “He had compassion on them,” and “He was moved with compassion for them.” In His teachings He emphasised love, encouraged his audience to give to the needy, to be merciful, and not to be judgmental.

The benefit of compassion goes beyond this life. In fact Matthew 25:35-46 confirms that a compassionate heart is very important in God’s eyes. He judges our heart as righteous or wicked based on how we treat the least people in our society. This parable by Jesus sounds like an open secret: that heaven is for the compassionate.

Jesus took time to explain what is expected of us concerning how we are to treat the hungry, thirsty, strangers, naked, sick and prisoners. He actually considers this category of desperate people as Himself and goes ahead to explain to us that our eternal inheritance and joy is hidden in just how we treat them. The question is which side of the Master do you desire to be on? You will automatically be on the right if keep your candle on and share the light or on the left if you turn a blind eye to the helpless.

This insight is a breath-taking truth, and holds unimaginable keys to the many doors that need to fly open in the lives of many people. Life is a journey full of twists, thrills and bumps; any one of us could lose balance or experience a tragedy requiring a hand of hope, and a bridge to get to the other side. Many people have fallen into the trap of hopelessness and serious darkness, and it is our responsibility, as Christians, to be the hand and feet of Jesus, by stretching out a hand and helping them out.

I know this to be true from my own experience that no one is master of this mortal life, in fact the day you feel well grounded and thriving could also be the day disaster strikes. We are all different in our ability to navigate the challenges of life, some are really more intelligent than others, right? However, we know that “the race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, but time and chance…” (Ecclesiastes 9:11)  Truly, it is more helpful to share our light than to pass judgment on those passing through various challenges.

It is possible to defeat poverty, hunger, ignorance, violence (in all its forms), diseases, child labor, gender discrimination and racism. It is possible to care for the orphans and vulnerable children, the elderly and disabled because where there is a will, there is a way, and “with God ALL THINGS are possible” (Matthew 19:26).

This is a call to you, to turn your compassion into action; turn your compassion into a tool for transformation. From dawn to dusk, service should be our common purpose with the goal of changing our shared destiny. Only then can we look back with joy and gratitude for the many transformed lives and the privilege of having been a part of their journey.


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John Njoroge