We all have selfish tendencies. We are human. Our own selfishness brought upon the fall of man. As we grow in our faith, we learn how to be more like Jesus and push those selfish tendencies away. But our little ones still have those tendencies. Our culture teaches us that you need to put yourself first, but that is not what the Bible says. That is not what our Lord commands. How do we teach our young ones to cast aside selfishness and instead clothe themselves in compassion?
We model compassion. We teach our kids how to empathize and what compassion looks like.
We must teach them to have a servant’s heart.
What is compassion? Compassion is showing kindness to others. It means that when someone is sad or hurt, we help them. It means that we help those in need. Compassion makes our hearts want to reach out to others and serve them. God wants us to be compassionate to others. Read the scriptures for today and reflect on them with your child. What is God telling us to do in these verses?
Look in your children’s bible or flip through you adult bible with your child and find some specific examples of how Jesus showed compassion.
Read the following stories and discuss with your children the actions that Jesus took that showed compassion:
- Jesus feeds the 5000- Matthew 14: 13-21
- Jesus heals the blind and mute – Matthew 9: 27-31
- Jesus heals the man with the shriveled hand- Matthew 12: 9-12
- Jesus heals two blind beggars- Matthew 21: 20-34
We may not be able to heal people or feed 5000 people from 5 loaves of bread, but it is clear that one of the biggest parts of Jesus’ ministry was showing compassion to others. Since we are to strive to be more Christ-like, then we too must show compassion to others. When we show compassion to others, something happens to our hearts. Our hearts are changed and filled with joy!
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ, God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32
Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. 1 Peter 3:8
I have been sponsoring children through Compassion International since I was 14. I will be 30 in February! I have been sponsoring for nearly 16 years!! It has been such a blessing to get to know my sponsor children, see them graduate from the program and develop relationships with these amazing kids across the world.
I want to instill a heart for missions in my child. Compassion International has created an online game called Quest for Compassion. Go explore 4 different countries with your child and learn about how different their lives are. Introduce them to what poverty looks like and what we can do to help those that live this way. Perhaps you want to sponsor a child? You could certainly bless a child through sponsorship!! Your children could build a relationship with a sponsor child and it would be an amazing experience for your family! The mission field doesn’t necessarily have to be across the world though. The mission field can certainly be in your own hometown! Brainstorm ways with your child to show compassion to those living with less and take action!