“Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ…And of some have compassion, making a difference:” ~Jude 21-22
One of my goals in seeking to rear Godly children is that they would make a difference, be it in the lives of a few or many. With Jesus as our example, we find that one of the greatest characteristics of His earthly ministry was His compassion. Mark 6:34 says, “And Jesus, when He came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them…” Christ looked for those who had needs and met them.
The following are three ideas I want to use to help my children – and myself – become more compassionate to those around us.
- Notice people in need. If we are wrapped up in ourselves, we miss opportunities to help others. It is often easiest to spot physical needs, but we should also be attuned to spiritual or emotional needs that we can have a hand in meeting.
- Be humble. Assisting others should not be done from a position of pride. God created each one of us and, while a person may make choices that put him in difficult circumstances, God still loves him and wants to have a relationship with him. As the saying goes, “There, but for the grace of God, go I.”
- Empathize. Try to understand others’ feelings. We have recently been in situations where my daughters were the “new kids.” After these experiences, I have talked to them about how they felt and asked them to remember that bit of awkwardness for times when they have the opportunity to reach out and welcome a stranger. While our children won’t have personal experience with every difficulty they see a person facing, they can still learn to identify with people who are hurting.
With God’s help, may we develop compassion within ourselves and our children that we might make a difference in our world.
How do you help your children learn to be compassionate?