Wednesday, October 06, 2010

See the Harvest

 {Matthew 9:36-38; NLT}
He (Jesus) felt great pity for the crowds that came, because their problems were so great and they didn't know where to go for help. They were like sheep without a shepherd. He said to his disciples, "The harvest is so great, but the workers are so few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send out more workers for his fields."

I think one of the indications that I have matured in my faith has been my increased compassion for people. When I was younger it was easy for me to negatively judge people because of the bad circumstances in their lives. After all if they would make better choices they wouldn't find themselves in those positions.

While it is true that each of us is responsible for our own actions I have come to realize that many choices are made because people just don't know any better. They have had bad models for their lives and are unaware where to turn for help. They may want to change but don't know what to do. Many of the sin addictions are the result of people wanting to cope with the circumstances of their lives but not know what is the best course of action.

From reading the gospels it appears that when Jesus looked at a crowd He didn't see dirty rotten sinners but lost travelers. Rather than judging people for the mistakes in their lives Jesus showed compassion. He was the one person who could sit in judgment but He chose to extend help instead.

When you believe you have an understanding of truth it is tempting to judge people based on their bad circumstances. It makes us feel superior as we turn the focus off our struggles to the dark sins of the world. It also give us a sense that we are doing God's work since we are standing up for God's truth.

The example we have from Jesus is to have compassion on the world because they don't know where to turn. They are lost and have no idea how to find their way home. Jesus knew their predicament much better than we do; even though it is has also been the story of our lives.

If we are going to show compassion to the world we have to pray. Prayer helps us gain a proper perspective on life and what is happening around us. It also helps us to align our hearts with God's hearts. Jesus tells us that we are to pray and ask God to send workers to go into the fields ripe for harvest. There is a shortage of leaders able to show the lost the way home.

Compassion is not just reserved for our prayer life, but it is also about how we live. Jesus lived in such a way to show the people around Him that He knew the Way they were to travel. As Jesus' followers we have that same responsibility of living our lives in a way to show people that there is a better way to live.

Ultimately what we need what we need is a change of perspective. Instead of seeing the world as dirty rotten sinners we need to see them as lost travelers trying desperately to get home, or better yet a field ready for harvest.

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