“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone else. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:12-13 NIV
Lord, sensitize me to others and their needs.
Is God challenging you to adjust your outlook or attitude? When we adopt a positive attitude, it directly impacts our outlook, personalities, and relationships. With our busy schedules and multitudes of distractions, we rarely stop to consider what’s going on in the lives of others. When we intentionally slow down and observe the world around us, we can see more clearly the struggles and challenges many are facing.
Are you simply being polite when you bump into a co-worker, friend, or loved one and ask, “How are you?” Or do you really want to know? Have you ever been asked that question, only to realize the person asking really doesn’t care about the answer?
When we take the time to ask people how they are doing and genuinely listen to and care about their response, we gain a more realistic perspective of the person’s circumstances and put ourselves in a better position to feel and show compassion.
Wife of evangelist Billy Graham, Ruth Bell Graham, was known to be the glue that held the Graham family together. It’s said she modeled Christ-like compassion and would happily give someone the dress off her back. In fact, that’s exactly what she did. During a world evangelism conference, Ruth found a change of clothes and gave an African pastor the dress she was wearing when he mentioned he just couldn’t return home without bringing his wife a gift.
Courageously exercise compassion by putting the following into practice.
1. Set aside judgment. When someone is curt, arrogant, or downright mean, consider what difficulty he or she may be facing and offer to pray for him or her.
2. Accept differences. We all come from different backgrounds, upbringing, life experiences, and levels of spiritual growth. Therefore, strive to be considerate of your differences.
3. Ask and listen attentively. Ask at least one person each day, “How are you?” Listen attentively to his or her answer.
4. Actively express compassion. Openly express compassion for others by giving of your time, talents, or resources.
God expects us to be compassionate, kind, humble, gentle, patient, and forgiving toward others.
Write down one way you can show compassion to others today and exercise compassion by implementing it throughout the day.
Father, thank you for your never-ending love, compassion, and patience toward me. Please help me recognize the needs of others and genuinely express true compassion toward them.
This is an excerpt from Ann White’s 90-day devotional, “She Is Strong and Courageous”. Purchase the book here!