“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?
We are talking about the children that we sponsor, and that's helping Sophie to see that lots of children do not have the same things that she does.
As always, what an insightful list of ideas, Tracey for all of us. I appreciate each of your points, and, yes, when I consider the compassion Jesus had on the multitudes (and on little me!!), I am so very humbled indeed. Oh, to love like Christ!
I try to be creative and intentional with the field trips or service projects we include in our homeschool as well ~ looking for opportunities to uplift the spirits of elderly folks living alone or to participate in giving to Operation Christmas Child and other local things. We also often pray for those in need. Nothing like hearing the sincere prayer of a child asking God to help people have clean water to drink or a warm place to stay.
Great post ~ it's given me lots of food for thought as we enter into the season of great feasting!
Mrs. Stam says
compassion is a beautiful thing
We show our children pictures of people in other countries and situations not as fortunate as ours… We remind them how blessed we are and how others lack even the basics… We encourage our children to do even little things for others, like helping elderly folk, smiling at people etc.
Compassion is SO needed in our world – everyone is so self-focused (self-obsessed would be a better word for it in many cases, sadly). Excellent reminder, Tracey.