“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience” – Colossians 3:12
I’m playing a little bit of catch-up here at the beginning of 2014 in my Character Development Series. Teaching compassion to kids is the focus of today. After today, I want to add another activity to the character lessons on being a “risk taker” and “pleasant” and then move onto my plan for 2014. To those just checking out my character development series, I encourage you to hover over the character development tab to reveal all of the words we work on throughout the year. You will have one word per week, giving you 52 traits of focus for an entire year.
We are called, in Colossians 3:12 to have “compassionate hearts.” Compassion involves having a concern for the “sufferings and misfortune of others.” There is a lot of hurt in this world. I have hope in a conquering king who will set things right and establish justice in the end. Until he returns, he has set people in this world to live out his compassion for the people He created. I am part of His plan. I want my kids to be part of His plan too. Part of that will be teaching my kids to have compassion for a hurting world. Compassion can be viewed as only a feeling, but I like to believe these feelings are meant to drive us into action. James 2:15-17 says, “Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, ‘Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way faith by itself, if into accompanied by action is dead.” Just having compassion and not putting those feeling into action can be useless. Therefore, I wanted my kids to see images of people who might be suffering and in need. I want the pictures to build up an emotion of compassion and empathy. However, I don’t want to stop there. We looked at the following pictures and talked about the situation we see. Then, we discussed what we could do to help and make a difference in these situations. These are big questions with not always clear-cut answers. It is probably hard for children to grasp completely, but as we talk about it when they are young, the concept can be instilled in their hearts. So often the world looks on Christians and see what we are against. I believe in my heart that we need to start being more vocal and showing the world what we are for…compassion and love driving us to action for the lost and suffering of this world.