It’s so tempting in the busyness of the holidays to get caught up in just doing the next thing, attending the next party, buying the next gift. In the midst of that busyness, it’s easy to miss noticing those who aren’t feeling included, needed, or loved. Today’s character quality will help us reach out to those lonely folks.
Compassion is another character quality that can only be developed when we stop worrying about ourselves and learn to elevate the needs of others.
While it can be oftentimes easy to fill physical needs, filling the needs of those folks who are lonely and in need of compassionate care will take some careful consideration. We can’t just give them “stuff” and solve the problem. No, these dear people need us to fill their emotional love-tanks by talking and personally connecting with them heart-to-heart.
As we seek the Holy Spirit in prayer, asking for His help to recognize both needs and the needy, we will begin to see people with new eyes…with the eyes of Jesus. Like Him, we will begin to rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep.
Learning to be compassionate isn’t just for the holidays! Every day, lonely people who feel unwanted and unnecessary surround us. It only takes a moment to reach out to those precious people and make them feel cared for and important. The problem comes when we don’t, or can’t, recognize the lonely people we meet each day.
We learn to recognize needy people when we purposefully take our eyes off of ourselves and our own needs.
Spend some time talking about this concept with your children. Ask them what they could do to begin to purposefully notice the needs of others. When you are out with your children, take the time to focus on other people. Does someone seem uncomfortable or out of place? Take a moment to stop and say hello. As you role-play reaching out to others in the safety of your own home, your children will gain the confidence they need to initiate and sustain meaningful interactions.
Beyond conversation, brainstorm ideas to extend practical compassion to others. Is there someone who would benefit from a holiday card and invitation for tea? Little actions of compassion won’t take much time; they just take a noticing eye and a commitment to take compassionate action.
People are drawn to compassionate Christians. As your family builds a reputation for having a character of compassion, you will see your friendships grow and your service opportunities flourish! Your opportunities to display the compassion of Christ will be multiplied.
Commit to being compassionate and use that compassionate commitment to show love to others.