Examples of compassionate faith are everywhere, especially in the bible. It’s one of the reasons I felt it important for Carol Scape to exhibit this in her new faith. In Restored Grace, she demonstrates compassion to someone undeserving. Over and over again. Why? Because she knows she is unworthy, and so are we. It’s who we are, isn’t it? Undeserving of Jesus’ love and sacrifice. His compassion.
Characteristics of a Compassionate Faith
If we’re always seeking justice on our own strength, compassionate faith doesn’t come easy. But being chosen by God clears the path for us to model Christ’s example of compassion. I found a blog post by The Crossing Church that listed seven characteristics of a compassionate Christian. I can’t say it any better, so please read it here:
I think the most essential characteristic of a compassionate faith is being chosen by God. Perhaps that’s why it’s listed as number one. He is the reason we do what we do, and one of the things we do is show compassion. And we can only do that with the power of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit within those whom God has called, within those who have received. It’s so easy to harbor unforgiveness in our hearts, especially when we’ve been wronged. Yet, I’ve always taught my children that hurting people often hurt others. I told them to think about what the mean kid or person may have experienced to treat another unkindly.
A compassionate faith knows better. When my eldest son was in first grade, there was a kid who always picked on him. Nothing harmful, just aggravating. But the kid was sneaky enough to do it when no one was watching. My son wasn’t so discreet and would push back. He got caught, and I was able to teach him a lesson. My son said no one liked that kid, so we prayed for him all year, and David quit reacting to his annoyances, and the following summer, the kid invited him to go sailing! He had no other friends. David had a wonderful summer out on the water with this boy and his family. His mother was so grateful.
Compassionate Faith in Action
If there is one thing our world knows how to do, it’s showing compassion in global crises. My heart swells when I read about those stories. Ukraine is the most recent. European churches modeled compassionate faith in action when they met refugees at the border with welcome signs and supplies. Our friends’ parents, missionaries who spent much of their lives in Ukraine, chose to stay and continue their ministry. Please pray for them.
Years ago, my son’s father-in-law, a pastor, took us to visit Tsunami Survivor housing in Japan. My heart broke, and I cried over story after story about lost family and friends. Yet, these survivors were encouraging one another. And twelve years later, this pastor continues to minister to these people in facilities for displaced people who have nowhere else to go. He purposes to befriend them with the hope of an opportunity to share Christ, the only true and lasting hope.
My husband calls these actions pillars in our faith. Something to cling on to, to recall often. We need to thank the Lord for those examples of hope in this crazy world we now live in. They are faith builders. Seek how God can use you globally, in your community, or individually. He’ll use us for compassionate faith in action. We just need to be willing.
Compassionate Faith is not a Feeling
We often don’t feel like being compassionate, and we struggle with false guilt that we’re not being genuine. But compassionate faith is not a feeling.
Fake it till you make it. People have quoted a similar version. Pastor Rick Warren taught this. Especially in marriage. We don’t always feel like loving our spouse, but the feelings follow when we act on it. John Piper wrote a profound article about loving when you don’t feel it. Please take a read.
And C.S. Lewis explained it perfectly.
Compassionate faith is an action where the feeling will follow. And that was how Carol acted in Restored Grace. She didn’t feel like helping the mean-spirited Eleanor, but she saw a broken, hurting woman and had no choice.
Although it was easier for her to respond in kind to young Virginia, as many did, Carol’s newfound faith allowed her the power to help someone like Eleanor. Don’t we all have Eleanors in our life? Sometimes we have been the Eleanors. As we grow in our faith, that should happen less. I’m ashamed to admit that my formerly critical heart looked at blame first in almost any situation. Praise be to God, not anymore.
Recently my husband and I encountered Sheriffs and Paramedics working on a drug overdose victim in the park. Twenty years in this neighborhood, and it was a first for us. My heart immediately cried. A woman sat on the grass biting her nails, all alone. She needed comforting, and right then, a young man jumped from his truck and ran to her. I believe he was a local pastor, just a hunch. And we prayed to ask for the Lord’s salvation and comfort.
Compassionate Faith is a step in The Believer’s Walk
Let’s act out our compassionate faith, whether we feel like it or not. Look for opportunities the Lord might bring you and seek his wisdom in action. I want to take advantage of every chance the Lord brings me to give Him glory. Don’t you?
I hope you’ll read Restored Grace. I enjoyed writing and developing Carol’s journey of faith, and I hope it encourages you in your walk. Just a reminder to watch for the bible study, The Believer’s Walk. A free PDF for anyone.
Click the link below if you’d like to hear about my writing and what books I’m working on. I have lots coming, so updates will be posted soon.
Please don’t forget to enter the giveaway at Restored Grace Celebration Tour with Celebrate Lit. It’s your chance to win a free paperback of the book and a $25 Amazon gift card. Just a way to thank my readers. God bless you, and write and tell me about your compassionate faith. I’d love to be encouraged too!