Daily Success
Institute in Basic Life Principles

Command 21 : Pray for Laborers | Day 142

Learn the Key to Compassion!

Hundreds of youth and adults watched intently as I gave a "chalk talk" in a Bolivian village. The response to the Gospel was marvelous! As I climbed into the mission truck to leave, many gathered around to wave good-bye. While smiling and waving back, I noticed that they were also waving at the driver, but he did not even look at them. Instead, he started up the engine and roared off through a flock of chickens. Feathers and chickens went in every direction. I was shocked!

Later that day, I asked the mission director, "Do the missionaries here really love the people?" He responded, "I'm afraid that some of them do not. They come here to carry out a specific job, and they do not interact very much with the people."

Our compassion will develop in direct proportion to our involvement in seeing and meeting the needs of others.

When the disciples saw the hungry multitude, they did not want to become involved, so they urged Jesus to send the people away. However, when Jesus saw the needs of the multitude, He "was moved with compassion toward them." This compassion compelled Him to meet their needs. (See Matthew 14:14-21, 15:32-38.)

When a priest saw a half-dead victim of a robbery, "he passed by on the other side." When a Levite saw the wounded man, he "looked on him, and passed by on the other side." But when the Samaritan saw him, "he had compassion on him" and invested his time and resources to meet the wounded man's needs. (See Luke 10:30-37.)

A willingness to invest ourselves in meeting the needs of others is preliminary to fulfilling Matthew 9:37-38. Jesus gave this command after He “... went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd" (Matthew 9:35-36).

God will do great things through a person whose heart is willing to see needs and show compassion to others.

Most of us desire to do something great with our lives, yet many people do not realize that God's perspective on greatness is different from the world's perspective. Jesus tells us, “Whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:26-28). As further motivation to show compassion by serving others, we should remember that Jesus said, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matthew 25:40).

We will never achieve true greatness without compassion. Let's concentrate on developing this vital quality by looking for needs in the lives of those around us and then by investing ourselves to meet those needs.

“Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest” (Matthew 9:38).

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Contributing writer: Bill Gothard