Have you ever noticed that some people are more naturally compassionate than others? Maybe it’s their personality or upbringing. Nevertheless, in the church, every believer is told to “put on a heart of compassion” (Col. 3:12). When empathy doesn’t come naturally, some Christians may wonder if something is wrong with them. So, what can we do to develop a greater sense of caring?
While emotions cannot be manufactured on demand, we can change our thoughts, which in turn affect our emotions. Compassion, like all the other qualities listed in today’s passage, is possible only when we think of others before ourselves. Self-centeredness keeps us from seeing the needs and hurts of those around us and acting on their behalf. What we need is a renewed mind.
We are all born with a selfish, sinful nature, referred to as the “old self.” But when a person puts his trust in Jesus, he receives a “new self” created in righteousness by God. (See Eph. 4:22-24.) As our minds are renewed with His Word and we grow in obedience, Christ’s love and compassion begin to flow through us. Instead of our being oblivious to the pain and suffering around us, God will open our eyes and use us to comfort those in need.
A heart of compassion is achieved not through self-effort but through a God-focused life. As we draw near to Him through His Word and His Son, He transforms our focus, thoughts, and feelings. What a relief to know that God has provided everything we need to follow Jesus’ example of caring. He always equips us to obey His every command.
Bible in One Year: Psalm 112-118