Updated: Mar 13, 2019
Written by Ben ~
There is a compassion we have for our kids, spouse, family, church, and friends. That compassion makes us want what is best for them and throws a sense of hope toward them that they excel in the important things in life. It’s not that we don’t care about others outside of this ring, but that as God works in our hearts there becomes an earnest compassion for people we don’t even know to come to know Christ and how we present the Gospel is very important.
Imagine you’re sitting at work one day and a guy co-worker sits down by you at lunch. He is a man that is tough, never cries, and has a strong presence. Bus as he starts telling you how his wife is leaving him he breaks down and starts to cry, broken over her decision to leave him. The first reaction is to console him, saying, “You don’t deserve this. You are owed better respect.” Or maybe even, “How dare she.” This is just about as effective as alcohol or any other worldly stimulant for sadness. Your words, like alcohol, will deaden the pain just for a moment, leaving the man back to licking his wounds by day’s end. This is where repentance comes in.
God has set up this world with certain means and ways. One of these is that we will never overcome problems without first letting Him fix us. It’s the same as giving our kids a swat when they veer off. So the compassion that guides us into disciplining our kids is the same compassion we have when sitting with that man and saying, “You played a part in your wife leaving by not doing this, or doing that.”—and this should be done in love just like it has been with our children when disciplining them. The co-worker cannot overcome the problem until he sees his downfall and comes to a state of repentance. Nor can he forgive her until he forgives himself. This is the miraculous work of God and the duty of His church to help show others His grace through repentance.