Many times, our heartstrings are tugged by seeing needs, and our sympathy “goes out to them.” But if that sympathy is not expressed in a tangible way, that’s all it is — just a fleeting feeling.
Compassion is deeper. Compassion moves to action. In the Gospels, the compassion of Christ is mentioned 14 times. In the Old Testament, compassion was a definite factor in some 27 instances.
Something in a person’s heart is definitely missing when compassion is not present. I saw a sign once that read, “Our eyes are dry because our hearts are dry.”
This past week, I saw a member of the church stand with tears streaming down her face as she told of her burden for those who seem uninterested in their spiritual welfare. And the even sadder part is their families are suffering for lack of attending the House of God and participating in worship, and hearing the Word. Children are growing up without attention to the important things of life.
What is it that digs down and draws a person into the anguish of another soul? Paul said that when one suffers, all suffer. “And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it” (1 Corinthians 12:26 KJV).
A man fell into a pit and couldn’t get himself out.
A SUBJECTIVE person came along and said: “I FEEL for you, down there.”
An OBJECTIVE person came along and said: “It’s logical that someone would fall down there.”
A PHARISEE said: “Only BAD people fall into a pit.”
A MATHEMATICIAN calculated HOW he fell into the pit.
A NEWS REPORTER wanted the exclusive story on his pit.
A JUDGMENTALIST said: You DESERVE your pit.”
A REALIST said: “That’s a PIT.”
A SCIENTIST calculated the pressure necessary (lbs./sq. in.) to get him out of the pit.
A GEOLOGIST told him to appreciate the rock strata in the pit.
AN EVOLUTIONIST said: “You are a rejected mutant destined to be removed from the evolutionary cycle.” In other words, he is going to DIE in the pit, so that he cannot produce any “pit/falling offspring.”
The COUNTY INSPECTOR asked if he had a permit to dig a pit.
A PROFESSOR gave him a lecture on: “The Elementary Principles of the Pit.”
An EVASIVE person came along and avoided the subject of the pit altogether.
A SELF-PITYING person said: You haven’t seen anything until you’ve seen MY PIT!”
A CHARISMATIC said: “Just CONFESS that you’re not in a pit.”
An OPTIMIST said: Things COULD be worse.”
A PESSIMIST said: Things WILL get worse!!”
JESUS, seeing the man, had compassion on him, took him by the hand and LIFTED HIM OUT of the pit.
— "Bible Illustrator"
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