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Question:
I love the Lord with all my heart, soul, and mind. The problem is that I can’t seem to feel compassion anymore for what He went through for us. He was tortured beyond believe for us. When I used to think about this tears would flow freely. Now it’s like there are no feelings, only indifference. Can you help?

Answer:

What you are experiencing is not uncommon. As life digs at us, robs us, and disappoints us, we become desensitized (loss of deep heart feeling).

As our hopes are unrealized, tragedies buffet us and people let us down, we become desensitized. As are dreams fade, our health wanes and pain frequents us, we become desensitized.

As the years go by, and pretty much all we are concerned with is “me”… my life, my time, my money, my success, my happiness, my home, my job, my kids, my wants, my, my, my….. we become desensitized.

For those of us who live in relative abudance, comfort, ease and prosperity… we become desensitized to anything but our type of easy life. Comfort breeds complacency, complacency desensitizes.

When we are inundated with “Christianity” in all forms – from the genuine to the watered-down ear-tickling to experiential foolishness to clownish televangelism – we become desensitized.

The cares of our materialistic life desensitize us. The distractions of a sin cursed world desensitize us.

Truth is, in abundant countries like America, many (most?) Christians are just simply so caught up in improving their own lifestyle, except for an occassional conscience-soothing charitable act or moment of sympathy, we just have too many wants, too many cares, too much stuff breeding too much discontentment to be too awfully concerned about others.

I’ll admit it. If I look at how I spend my time, my money, my energy, my talents and my effort… it is primarily on what I WANT. This smothers compassion because we do not take ENOUGH time to step out of our life and into the lives of others.

Like a callous that keeps getting rubbed and grinded, our spiritual skin grows thick and numb. Through emotional pain, spiritual short circuiting, spiritual lethargy and spiritual neglect, we become thoroughly desensitized.

Then one day, we wake up and realize that the suffering of others doesn’t really affect us that much anymore. We aren’t moved by the fact that tens of thousands of Christians around the world are imprisoned, persecuted and killed every year. We realize that we can think about how Jesus was brutalized and murdered… and it’s little more than a story we go over every year at Easter time.

Is it all doom and gloom, or is there a way to regain spiritual sensitivity? I believe there is. Now if you’re looking for some new, novel, really cool and trendy answer… sorry to disappoint. What is called for is some good old fashioned spiritual discipline, evaluating your life, and making some changes.

  • Ask God to soften your heart
  • Ask God to give you plenty of opportunity to show compassion to suffering and hurting people
  • Ask God to open your eyes to new and deeper understanding of the suffering of others
  • Ask God to refresh and deepen your love for Christ and your understanding of His suffering

Study what God’s word says about compassion to renew your heart and mind, aligning it with God’s perspective.

Jesus displayed compassion and wept over those he loved:
Luke 19:41 Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, (NKJV)

Have compassion on those who suffer for Christ knowing it can happen to you too:
Hebrews 13:3 Remember the prisoners as if chained with them—those who are mistreated—since you yourselves are in the body also. (NKJV)

Seek out those who are truly poor and help them, invest time in them, rather than spending all your time enjoying or chasing more “lifestyle”:
Proverbs 19:17 He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord, And He will pay back what he has given. (NKJV)

God has blessed you with strength and resources so that you can have compassion on those who are weak and hurting:
Galatians 6:2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. (NKJV)

Have compassion on those who are weak, straying and lack knowledge just as the Lord did for you, and I, when we were lost and blind:
Hebrews 5:2 He can have compassion on those who are ignorant and going astray, since he himself is also subject to weakness. (NKJV)

Have compassion on the lost masses who have no hope and no leader:
Matthew 9:36 But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. (NKJV)

Have compassion on the weaknesses of others, since Jesus has compassion on your weakness:
Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. (NKJV)

We can’t have compassion and be moved by what Jesus did for us if we do not have compassion in general. It cannot be compartmentalized or segmented. Your either a compassionate person, or your not, to whatever degree.

To regain and rejuvenate our compassion for the Lord, we need to cultivate our compassion within the world God gave us to live and the people of that world.

As we exercise and gain compassion for other people, then that compassion naturally spills over and flows into our compassion for what Jesus did for us.

If you have grown cold towards the Lord, and the story of His suffering no longer moves you, then perhaps it is time to evaluate your compassion towards other people… not just those close to you, but the lost of the world, the truly poor and needy, and suffering Saints from every nation.

Compassion breeds compassion. Compassion is learned and cultivated by choice – the choice to turn from the pursuit of our own life and lifestyle, to the attention and love for the life of others. Jesus had the greatest compassion of all:

Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (NKJV)

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