Develop Compassion

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Enlightened leadership is spiritual if we understand spirituality not as some kind of religious dogma or ideology but as the domain of awareness where we experience values like truth, goodness, beauty, love and compassion, and also intuition, creativity, insight and focused attention.

Deepak Chopra

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There are stories in the Bible were we all cheer the hero of the story, go home rejoicing in what they had done, but then go back to our ordinary lives. One of those stories is the good Samaritan—the priest passes by, the Levite passes by, but the Samaritan stops, loves, heals, gives, and even goes the extra mile and says, whatever else they need, put that on my account. Jesus tells this story to show the difference between heroes and the ordinary, the difference between being religious or making a difference for God. So many churches are dwindling down in number, they are looking for the next great program or great marketing strategy to put them over the top, but it is really simple, become a hero, stop passing up the opportunity to make a difference in the world.

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Why Some Stop, Why Some Pass By?
Luke 10: 30-37

We have all passed by in our lives, we all have walked on the other side of the street. Many times we look for those to come to the church that are going to help support the cause, not be a cause for support. I want to be someone who stops, I want to be a hero for God. Let’s look at who passed by in the story, why they might have passed by, the reasons we might pass by, and what could cause us to stop.

1. Who Passed By—A priest and A levite—this really stings being a minister, and they both represent something that really isn’t good about religious service. I am sure Jesus used these two to drive home a point to all those who want to serve God from a religious point of view.

a. they were both busy in religious service—this is a real problem, there is a difference between religious service and Christianity.
b. Sometimes in our quest for the good, we bypass the best. The goal isn’t theology, or spiritual recognition, our goal is to be like Christ. 
c. They were in the ministry—it is true that there is a real danger that ministry can become what others can do for us, over what we can do for others.

download (1)2. Why they Might have passed by—

a. they may have been in a hurry to get to Synagogue—religion can cause us to become churchy, to feel like ministry must go on inside the four walls under the steeple.
b. they may have decided the person had it coming to them. Many times the lack of effort in helping those in need is the predisposition we have of making the judgment that they should have been in church. Or I knew they would never amount to anything. Or they should have listen to us a long time ago.
c. Maybe they could just care less—as long as I am righteous, as long as I’m on my way to heaven, as long a my family is doing good. Religion has the tendency of making people self centered and self absorbed.

3. Why might we pass by? 

a. one of the main reasons we might not care for the lost and hurting in this world is the effort required to help people. It takes time, effort, energy and sometimes money, and it is easier just to go to the weekly praise a thon, or the spiritual shake, rattle and roll event. 
b. Maybe we don’t have as much of Christ in us as we profess. Maybe we are still carnal, fleshly, worldly and given over to our own appetites and needs.


c. We might just not like people—people love the church, they love the ministry, they love the conferences, the councils, the committee meeting, they just don’t like dealing with problematic people. It’s like, if it were for all these rotten people, the world would be a better place. When we get out of the people business, we pass by.

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4. What Could Cause Us To Stop?

a. have compassion—the Samaritan had compassion, Jesus had compassion on the multitudes, and until we get a good dose of compassion and love for sinners, the lost, the sick, the lonely, the hurting of society, we won’t ever stop.
b. To realize the church has lost it’s impact on society as a whole, and if we don’t start stopping, this old world is going to fall apart. The church can be the spiritual glue that can hold things together. We have the ability to make a difference by our love.
c. a fresh revelation of the cross—if we realize that Christ didn’t just die for us, but for this whole world, it could be the attitude adjustment that could cause us to stop, to help, to care, to listen. Maybe you will get burned a few times, maybe some will take advantage of you, but at least you are on the right side of the road.

In many occasions Jesus would tell a story and then say, go and do likewise. Jesus tells us to walk on the right side of the road. Anyone who is a giver, a helper, a person of love and compassion, is a true neighbor. So many people profess a great love for God, but 1 John says that the love for God who we have never seen is proven by those who we do see. We have all passed by before, let’s pray God gives us a chance to stop. When we stop, we aren’t doing the people near as much good as we are doing ourselves. It is when we do real ministry we feel real. 

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