What Does Real Compassion Look Like?

We are living in serious dark times. Lies are rampant, but we know, as Christ followers, God’s Word is truth. (Psalm 119:160, John 17:17). It provides light and understanding even to the simple-minded. (Psalm 119:130) Yet, our world rejects the light of God’s truth. For so many, God’s Word is not the absolute authority by which they live, leaving their value systems, deeds, and lifestyles to be defined by worldly whims which change every day. Since Adam and Eve sinned, this fallen world has been shrouded with the darkness of doubt, unbelief, and disobedience to God. 

In Romans, chapters 1-3, Paul describes the nature of the unrighteous. All of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (3:23). The nature of man is full of darkness until God shines the light of His gospel into us, saves us, and begins our transformation, turning our hearts away from the dark and toward the light. (2 Corinthians 4:3-6; 1 John 1:5-7)

As God opens our eyes to the blatant disregard for His Word in our homes, communities, workplaces, schools, and governments, we should not only be alarmed by those embracing darkness, but burdened to draw them out of it. As our culture rejects truth more and more everyday, Christians are being swayed to reject God’s truth as well. To be biblically aligned and faithful to the truth, we must be willing to call the dark what it is—sin and evil. 

The Gospel message of salvation is for all who are lost in darkness. As Christ’s disciples, He commands us to reach out to them in Christian love, which means staying faithful to God’s Word even when it’s unpopular or difficult. We must not minimize or shrug off someone’s sin out of fear of being labeled judgmental or uncompassionate. God never commands us to affirm sin in someone’s life, but to love them into turning away from it. True Christian love calls us to stand firm in the truth. The world may seek to promote confusion by twisting good and evil until they are unrecognizable, but, God’s Word has never and will never change. 

“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!”
– Isaiah 5:20  

Many have tragically succumbed to this twisted view of compassion which forbids us from confronting sin. True compassion is the opposite. Real compassion leads us to those trapped in the dark so we can shine the light of God’s truth and show them how to escape. Allowing God’s truth to expose their sin will allow them to see their sin in the light of a holy God, and then God can rescue them. They need to understand that eternal punishment is the consequence of choosing to remain in the darkness of their sins.  

"Those who live in disobedience to the gospel of our Lord Jesus will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might"
– 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9 

Real compassion is leading someone out of the dark and into the light. That’s real love. That’s God’s love. Our eternal God, Jesus Christ, took on humanity (John 1:1-3, 14), lived a sinless life (Hebrews 4:15), died on Calvary’s cross to pay in full the penalty of our sin and rose from the dead to make us righteous before God who gives us peace with Him (1 John 4:10, Romans 4:25-5:1). He ascended to the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 1:3) to be our Advocate before the Father (1 John 2:1-2). He is the only sufficient Savior worthy of our praise. Through repentance of sin and faith in the crucified and risen Christ (Acts 2:38, Mark 1:15, Ephesians 2:8-9), we are forgiven of our sin and declared righteous (2 Corinthians 5:21), made new to walk in God’s light (2 Corinthians 5:17), and given eternal life. 

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
– Romans 6:23 

Minimizing, ignoring, or affirming a person’s sin is not compassion, it’s cruel. To leave someone blind in their sin, in need of a Savior and separated from God’s grace is the worst possible place to leave them. The doctor who ignores your terminal cancer isn’t showing you compassion; he is just leaving you to die. Sin is spiritual cancer, and it’s terminal. Everyone needs to be introduced to the Savior who came to rescue them from the disease of sin (Colossians 1:12-14). Until we recognize our need for the Savior, we will never receive God’s grace, repent, and trust in Christ by faith.

Fellow believer, let’s faithfully introduce others to the One who shines His light on us. In a world that seems to be getting darker, only the truth found in God’s Word can cut through. No matter how unpopular it is, let’s show real compassion and shine God’s light on those around us. 

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