Respond to others with compassion and understanding, says Dr. KP Yohannan, founder of GFA (Gospel for Asia).
As humans, we often lack compassion and understanding when dealing with those around us. Even as Christians, it can be difficult to respond to others with the same love Jesus did. Yohannan recalls that he used to preach at those who were struggling. He used to quote Scripture in a judgmental way to those around him, even his wife:
Sometimes I did the same thing to my wife. One day, when I came home, her eyes were all red, and I asked her what was wrong. But before she could answer, I told her five Scripture references.
“Can you please stop preaching at me?” she asked. “I know all these Bible verses myself. The whole day I struggled with the kids and things at home. All I want is for you to understand what I am going through.”
This is the human response. But what about Jesus’s response? John the Baptist was imprisoned after a successful ministry and he began to doubt his calling, his ministry, and even Jesus’ identity He sent this disciples to ask Jesus, “Are You the coming One, or do we look for another?” (Luke 7:20).
Jesus responded with compassion and understanding despite confusion and doubt.
Jesus didn’t condemn him. Neither did He say to John’s disciples, “You mean John sent you to ask Me these questions? It shows that he has lost it completely. I never thought he would fall by the wayside like anyone else.”
Instead, Jesus responded with understanding and compassion.
Yohannan extrapolates on Jesus’ heart of compassion toward John the Baptist:
What Jesus was saying to John was this: “John, it’s all right. You are expecting action. You wanted Me to snap my fingers and get you out of prison and vindicate you. You are a righteous and wonderful individual, but that’s not what I am going to do.
“When you serve Me, you will go through times of deep struggles. But if you keep looking at what I, the Lord, am doing, you will see that you have a part in all of it.
“John, don’t forget that these blind people now see, the crippled walk and millions who were lost are turning to the Father. John, it’s worth it.”
Next time, let’s learn from Jesus! Let us be willing to look past others’ problems and times of discouragement and see the amazing things God has done in and through their lives. Take time to consider the good God has done through others’ lives. And then let us believe that He will do even greater things through them in the future. Today is not the final snap shot of their story.