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Steps of Action

Two of the pieces of spiritual clothing that Paul challenges us to wear each day are compassion and kindness (Ephesians 4:32). For many of us, we have to push ourselves to make an extra effort to reach out to those in need. This requires us to step out of our comfort zone. This may involve sacrificially spending money or time. The Lord may want you to go a little out of your way to be around those in need (travel to another part of town, another city, or even another country). The Lord asks us to “share our food with the hungry, provide shelter for the poor wanderer, clothe the naked, and loose the chains of injustice for the oppressed” (Isaiah 58:6-8). We are to comfort those who mourn (Isaiah 61:3). "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress” (James 1:27).

Paul tells us that God has already given us the skills, experiences, and abilities in order to serve others (Ephesians 2:10). Ask the Lord to show you the opportunities around you in which you can share His compassion and kindness. Consider if you need to spend less time on your hobbies or your job (which may be a sacrifice of money as well) so that you can pour more of yourself into others in need. This may not be your spiritual gift, but, we are all called to “clothe ourselves with compassion and kindness” (Colossians 3:12).

Compassion and kindness is also to be shared with our neighbors, family, and our brothers and sisters in the body of Christ. We do this by loving others as Christ loved us. This means “bearing with each other and forgiving whatever grievances we may have against one another” (Colossians 3:13). One of my friends went to visit a prisoner to forgive him for murdering his brother. This man was so amazed that he fell on his knees and my friend was able to lead him to Christ. This is compassion. Kindness includes taking time out of our busy schedules to help a brother in need. Jesus tells us to be willing to lend money to a brother and not punish him if he cannot pay us back. The list goes on and on.

Ask the Lord how you can put on your clothes of compassion and kindness and help those around you today.

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