Do you remember as a child when you played dodge ball? I really didn’t like that game, cause people got mean when it came to throwing the ball at other people. It seems the coach always picked someone else to be the two captains, and then the captains got to take turns choosing who would be on their team. I was always sort of in the middle and I always felt sorry for those last ones chosen cause they were usually the non-athletic. They were also usually the first targeted to get out by slamming them with the ball. However as of great athletic ability, those who were chosen first felt a sense of pride knowing they could offer something to the team. Rightfully so, but without compassion, only to conquer and to win the game.
If we could look back into time and see Jesus standing on the shores teaching the people, feeding them and giving them what they were hungry for, our hearts would be changed forever. As Christians we should look around us and have compassion on those who are hungry, physically and spiritually. Before we can teach others there must be compassion illuminating from our heart. It is not only to expound on the Word as of explaining our knowledge or deep spiritual truths that we can give to the people but a heart-felt desire to feed the people to benefit their soul. Our heart should pour out a heart of servanthood. If we are not serving the people with compassion then we are puffing our own pride with knowledge like the ones of the Pharisees, much like the captains of dodgeball. You may have all the know how, the equipment but no compassion. If all we want is to get up in front of people in a way of we have something to offer to them is only a sense of pride and not that of humbleness. Compassion is a virtue or part of being a good moral person. It is the emotional capacity of empathy and sympathy for the suffering of others. It is regarded as a part of love itself. As humans we may at times struggle with this because of hurt feelings or selfish desires, however with more of Jesus in our lives we can go forward and weed out selfishness, feed the people because we have compassion. As one commentary said:
Because they were faint – In soul rather than in body. As sheep having no shepherd – And yet they had many teachers; they had scribes in every city. But they had none who cared for their souls, and none that were able, if they had been willing, to have wrought any deliverance. They had no leaders after God’s own heart.
I wonder what Jesus would have done while playing dodgeball. Do you think he would have been chosen captain or one of the last ones chosen for the team? Would he have thrown the ball or been the one hit by four balls at one time? I know life is not dodgeball and it’s not a game, but my point is, we cannot teach anything without compassion first and foremost in our lives and that comes only by having more Jesus.
Prayer: Lord as leaders, I know we all have faults, we all are human and we all struggle with compassion. Let us have compassion as you have compassion. Let us humbly walk as you walk, having compassion and feeding those that are hungry for more of you. Amen.