The Compassion of Jesus (Part Two)
Get indignant and then act.
Seeing injustices and addressing them.
Working to make the world a better place because you believe that what is is not what should be.
That is the definition that we developed in the first part of this discussion on the compassion of Jesus. (You can read that first post here.) In looking at the story of one of Jesus' miracles in Mark 1 in the Bible, we discussed how the compassion of Jesus is about being "moved as to one's bowls" - righteous anger that we feel from the center of our bodies.
The Greek word used in this story of Jesus, which is translated indignant or compassion, is splagchnizomai.
Yet there is one pivotal component to this word we haven't discussed yet.
This word is used twelve times in the New Testament (the second half of the Bible) and while it is mainly used to describe Jesus, every single time it is used it talks about a feeling that drives someone to action. They see brokenness, they feel compassion for those bearing the weight of the injustice, and then they do something about it.
Living a life of compassion like Jesus is not just about emotions, online posts, or challenging yet witty hashtags on social media. While none of those things are bad, it misses the mark if our goal is to live out the compassion of Jesus. Following Jesus requires true action.
That is what we cannot miss in this discussion of Jesus and His compassion. Action is essential to the compassion of Jesus. His compassion is, at it's core, love-centric and action-oriented.
Our compassion is not Christ-like if it is not action-oriented. What we feel must drive us to action. Feeling righteous anger without action is not compassion - it is pity. And pity is not Christ-like. As followers of Jesus we are called to deeper pains, greater engagement, and endless love.
The compassion of Christ is to feel pain with and for others, and to have that pain move you to action.
Do you want to live like Jesus? Do you want to unleash His compassion in your own life?
Then it is time to get indignant. Have your bowls catch fire (figuratively of course). Get - righteously - angry. And do something about it.
For those of you who are more science-minded, here's a formula that may help:
Indignation + Action = Compassion of Jesus
We are faced with a broken world filled with evil injustices and self-centered hate:
- Human slavery
- Hunger and Malnurishment
- Discrimination and Racism
- Drug epidemic
Look around you and find the brokenness that moves you to tears from the center of your being. And do something to take a step towards eradicating that injustice from the world.
As followers of Christ we are called to action.
Where is God calling you to act on your indignation? How are you/How can you address that injustice this month?
Comment below with how, where, and why you are living out the compassion of Jesus.
Get Indignant. And get moving.