"When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." Matthew 9:36 NLT
It always amazes me how indifferent I can be at times. It’s not that I have a heart of stone or intentionally try to avoid people in need… it’s just sometimes I don’t notice. I wish I had a better excuse; however, I think the reason I tend to feel indifferent is the uncomfortable realization that sometimes I AM indifferent.
Indifference is defined as having a lack of interest, concern or sympathy.
I hate how easy it is for me to be indifferent to those around me, this has always bothered me about myself. My natural way of seeing the world tends to be more selfish than selfless. I know this isn’t the way things were supposed to be; but truth be told, indifference tends to be my default setting. A number of years ago I decided this was no longer acceptable if I wanted to continue to call myself a Christ follower. I mean Jesus noticed hurting people, shouldn’t I? Let’s be real, if anyone wants to call themselves a follower of Christ, shouldn’t that mean they actually follow Christ and try to do what He does?
When reading the Bible, I like to pay special attention whenever it points out that Jesus noticed something out of the ordinary. In Matthew 9:36, it says that Jesus saw the crowds and noticed that they were confused and helpless. After making this assessment, note that it doesn’t say that Jesus then crossed to the other side of the road and went on with his day (that would be a classic safe/convenient/socially acceptable and predictably human move).
Instead, it says that He had “compassion on them”.
This is a significant observation. If we want to be used by God to make a difference in our world, we need to learn how to see people the way Jesus sees people. We need to live our life with Jesus glasses, looking for opportunities to allow what affected Christ to affect us.
My favorite prayer to combat my propensity towards indifference sounds like this, “Dear Jesus, Help me to see people the way you see people.”
It has been my experience that when you begin to see people the way Jesus sees people, you start to respond the way Jesus would respond…. And this, in a very practical way, is what revival looks like to those around you.