Compassion Seeks the Road Less Traveled
2 Corinthians 1:3, Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
Love and compassion are the highest and best motivating factors in our lives. Compassion also provides a foundation for developing courage. Many of the most courageous people in history and in our time were and are people of great compassion. Jesus Christ is our best example of compassion and courage.
People in history like Harriett Tubman, Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, Dr. Martin Luther King, and Mother Teresa possessed great courage through compassion. Everyday people and believers in Christ like Antoinette Tuff had compassion and courage to save lives by helping troubled people from doing horrible things.
People in my life, such as my late mother Gaynell Hudson, became courageous through compassion. As a minister, she went to places and served people who were difficult to help. A lot of ministry today is occupied with blessed people, ministering to blessed people. It does not require much courage to "have church." Much of the compassion we need to impact the most pressing needs in our nation and world for Christ goes unrealized. It seems that we have become more engaged with "fluff" than holy fire.
Jesus Inside Prison Ministry founded by my friend and colleague, Pastor William Bumphus, has been turning men from crime to Christ for more than 30 years. While the national rate of recidivism (men returning to crime after incarceration) is over 40%, Pastor Bumphus' Jesus House program as achieved a recidivism rate of only 5%. Compassion and courage empower Pastor Bumphus to help transform some of the most dangerous men in our nation, week after week, year after year.
Compassion seeks the "roads less traveled." Self-interest has created a traffic jam on the well traveled roads we see today.
It took courage for Jesus to "stand still" and listen to the pleas of Blind Bartimaeus (Mark 10:46-52). Back in those days people who were physically disabled were considered "cursed" and not worthy of recognition and dignity. Jesus showed courage through compassion by breaking with the status quo and social norm of his day to love an "untouchable" like Bartimaeus and many others.
Compassion brings the comfort and help of God on the scene. This is what causes us to have courage in difficult situations, even when the emotion of fear is present. Our "Comforter," the Holy Spirit, works with us providing help (courage & power) to face all needs and challenges.
Along with the lifestyle of compassion comes great joy and fulfillment in life!
Listen to my message: "How Compassion Develops Courage" from Firm Foundation Podcast