Sympathy is The Counterfeit of Compassion | Devotional
Much of what has been applauded as Christlike compassion is nothing more than sympathy.
Sympathy has little to no hope and lives without power. It leaves a person with his affliction, problem or question, while compassion brings him out. Jesus, again, set the standard on this subject.
Whenever He was “moved with compassion,” a miracle followed—every single time. His view of compassion is much different from ours, so ours must change.
It is as though compassion was the vehicle that God’s power rode upon. All ministry is supposed to be that way—gifts riding upon the vehicle of character. Gifts and character were never meant to be separated.
Sympathy can even become dangerous, as it reinforces a person’s identity in his affliction or need.
The best that the natural man can come up with, sympathy tends to insulate the person in need from awareness of God’s promises that are for now, therefore keeping him from the faith necessary to overcome.
The religious spirit loves for us to operate in sympathy as it celebrates form without power. It fuels people’s identity as victims and makes the possibility of heaven in the future their only hope.
While that may sound okay, it is not how Jesus lived or what He preached. His message was that the Kingdom of God is at hand, here and now and within reach.
While the eternal aspect will be glorious beyond measure, it is the now that was the target of His message, backed by His works, that destroyed the devil’s works.
Let’s be honest: It is often much easier to console and give sympathy, knowing there is no simple answer for a person’s problem.
Tragically, we position ourselves to comfort instead of contend for the miracle on behalf of those who cannot seem to fight for themselves. It is easier than putting our faith on the line.
Biblical compassion is the love of God. Love seeks the best. And the believing believer has access to the best—Kingdom power being released now. Faith operates through love. These two things are eternally connected.
Compassion has Kingdom solutions in sight. It is energized by the affection of God, the One who paid a high price for us to be healed and delivered in this life.
He does not look at a problem wondering if He should provide an answer. He does not look at a disease and wonder whether or not to give healing. Two thousand years ago, a price was paid for all to be healed.
In the same way that payment made it possible for all of us to be forgiven. There is no lack on His end of the equation.
My Father and my God, I need grace in a very big way each and every day. Help me not to insulate people from their need to trust You.
Instead, I want Your affection to flow through me, not only giving comfort to those in need, but also bringing them into breakthroughs.
Help me to recognize Your heart for each person and demonstrate Your kindness in the same way Jesus would. People must know what You are like, and I give my life unto this end, that You might be glorified.
I will not restrict my life to what is humanly possible. Instead, I will embrace the privilege of allowing His heart of love and compassion to flow through me.
As I demonstrate His perfect compassion, I will look for and anticipate the answers that Jesus would bring were He in my place.
These are the things I will do that Jesus Christ will be exalted in all the earth.
Bill Johnson is a fifth generation pastor. He was pastor at Mountain Chapel in Weaverville for 17 years, and in 1996 he took up the pastorate at Bethel Church in Redding. His ministry has been characterized by a constant revival and the manifestation of miracles.