5 Ways Christians Fail to Show Compassion

You're nearly a pariah in Christian circles. You're suffering, and the church doesn't know how to handle it. Some say they'll pray, and you're not sure they mean it, and others will tell you that God won't give you more than you can handle. Others expect you to act super spiritual and some will judge your every move to see if you're handling your trial properly. It's time we had the discussion on some of the ways in which Christians show a lack of compassion.

They Don't Ask How You're Doing

This one comes down to fear more often than not. They're not sure how to approach you, and so, they don't. They would. They want to. But they don't. And it shows a lack of compassion. If this is you, a simple, 'I'm praying for you', 'I'm sorry this is happening to you' will suffice to show you care. You can also send a card. Letting time pass without checking up on someone can add the weight of isolation to a person's sorrow, so don't do it.

They Suggest You Shouldn't Be Sad, Because You Have Jesus

You describe the worst suffering you've ever been through, and a jolly Christian comes along, furrows his or her brow before saying, 'well, you've got God!'. It's true. We do have God. But it isn't like the  pain doesn't hurt, the sky never grows dark, and mushrooms won't grow if we don't clean out our showers.

It's an unrealistic worldview at best and a hurtful one if people are denied the freedom and space they need to breathe and to grieve and to be made whole again. Healing is a process even if you're saved. It also suggest the person isn't spiritual enough if they're struggling. It labels them a loser on top of their suffering, and it creates a system of the prosperity gospel ilk.

They Suggest You Have Sinned

Sure, you look like you have it all together on the outside, but your life is a wreck, so, obviously, you have sinned. People even still do this to old Job. They cite a verse where he says that that which he had feared had come upon him and say that the fear was the sin in his life that opened the door to his calamity.

Wrong.

God said that Job was the most upright man in the land, and we don't need any further proof than that. We live in a fallen world, and we have an enemy. Enough said. Pointing out someone's 'sin' can get you in trouble with God like it did with Job's 3 friends. Don't do it. Pray for that person. Have some compassion, and say something nice.

We Withhold Physical Support

In James, the writer says not to tell a person to be warmed and fed without doing something, yet that is what we, as Christians often do. Enough of that. If you can help fill a need, do it.

Is it scary?

Yes.

Want to know what's more scary?

Not doing it.

I can tell you firsthand that you will regret not having helped someone if you could have. Put the fear aside, don't worry about their pride, and simply ask if you can step up and help. Sometimes, too, a hug can go a long way. I know this, because I could always use a hug, and I'm sure you could too. 

We Condemn The Hurting

This is something we do to those outside the church proper who hurt or who we believe are not quite up to par spiritually. These are not the Jobs, but are the pregnant single person who we don't talk to, because, you know, it might rub off on us. To these ones we represent Christ but act as if we are judge, jury, and executioner.

They're hurting, and we think they deserve it. Their sins are not hidden, and they can see it in our eyes. We lack compassion, and we're kind of mean about it. That's not how Jesus acted, and He told those that condemned the woman caught in adultery that the ones without sin could throw the first stone.

Put simply, have compassion, and do everything in love. Jesus said that to fulfill the law was to love your neighbor at yourself. It isn't always easy, but it is always worth it, as everything we do is useless without love.

With love we show ourselves to be the children of God, as God loves us and, Himself, is love. It's how people judge if what we believe that what we're saying is true. Be dangerous and choose to love. You just might change the world, starting with yourself.

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