What does growing in compassion look like? Have you ever desired to grow in compassion? If you have it is a sign the Holy Spirit is working in your heart. God desires to transform you from the inside out.
When I first became a pastor, I was blessed by working with another pastor who had a tremendous gift of compassion. I never realized how blessed I was to have such a role model until several years later. I believe the Lord wants all of us to grow in the area of compassion for others and all of us have room to improve.
The Brother of the Prodigal Son had Little Compassion
The father of the prodigal son was filled with compassion for his lost son. When his son humbly returned, he embraced him and welcomed him back into the family. Our heavenly Father does the same to us when we wonder away and return. He does not throw dirt in our faces but forgives us when we repent of our sins. While the father was compassionate, the brother was filled with contempt and bitterness.
Luke 15:25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the fields working. When he returned home, he heard music and dancing in the house, 26 and he asked one of the servants what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother is back,’ he was told, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf. We are celebrating because of his safe return.’ 28 “The older brother was angry and wouldn’t go in. His father came out and begged him, 29 but he replied, ‘All these years I’ve slaved for you and never once refused to do a single thing you told me to. And in all that time you never gave me even one young goat for a feast with my friends. 30 Yet when this son of yours comes back after squandering your money on prostitutes, you celebrate by killing the fattened calf!’
The Pharisees Needed Compassion
Jesus told the parable of the prodigal son as an answer to a question by the Pharisees. They wanted to know why Jesus would eat with sinners. Through this story, Jesus was telling them that He ate with sinners because the Father has mercy on them. The heavenly Father received repentant sinners back and the verse just prior to the start of today’s story says even the angels celebrate.
Luke 15: 10 In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents.
You Can Grow in Compassion
Prayer is the first place to start to grow in compassion. God desires to help transform His children. Ask the Lord to help you develop the practice of viewing people through His eyes.
During these crazy, chaotic times many people are lonely and discouraged. And the needs are real. All around you, people are hurting, looking for someone who cares for them. You may be the answer to their prayers.
Do not be preoccupied by your own interests but look for ways in which you can bless others, bring hope, and show the love of God. 1 John 4:7 Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God.
To learn more about growing in compassion, listen here: