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Gritty Compassion
Theme of the Week: True Compassion
Tuesday, June 27, 2017

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Key Bible Verse: I saw the tears of the oppressed, with no one to comfort them. (Ecclesiastes 4:1b)

Dig Deeper: Luke 10:25-37

That day in the car, I was torn between an easy Jesus and the real Jesus. The easy Jesus hears our prayers for grieving families and lets us go about our business. But the real Jesus messes with our hearts by asking us to act on the compassion we feel welling up inside us. It's not that feeling pity and praying for someone in need is necessarily wrong. It just isn't complete.

True compassion goes so much further than pity. It layers action onto our feelings. Anyone can feel pity, but only the grittiest followers will act on it. The tough decision to live with compassion means choosing to cross the line between feeling sorry for someone and actually doing something about the need.

The Bible presents active compassion as our way of joining God in the restorative work he's already up to in the world. Compassion is a gritty, get-your-hands-dirty, put-your-money-where-your-mouth-is response to real human need. It is fierce and demanding. It strays out of the realm of passive feelings into full-on engagement with other people. Compassion requires reaction.

That's what the world needs—our presence as well as our prayers. People who are struggling and in need aren't looking for pity. They're looking for care and concern that acts on their behalf.

—Jason Mitchell in No Easy Jesus

Adapted from No Easy Jesus by Jason Mitchell (Tyndale Momentum, 2017) by permission. All rights reserved by the copyright holder and/or the publisher. May not be reproduced.

Prayer for the Week
Savior, grant me the boldness to turn my compassion into action; help me to meet the needs you call me to meet in this world.

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