Vision and Responsibility
"When he [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd."1
Today's Daily Encounter is written by Cindy Whetzel, Gunnery Sergeant, U.S.M.C.2
In the Gospels we read that when Jesus "saw" a problem he was moved with compassion to do something about it.
Seeing a problem is the beginning of solving a problem. Jesus never said to the blind, lame or afflicted, "You're not blind, lame or afflicted. Just tell yourself that and it will all be okay." On the contrary, he saw the problem, acknowledged the problem, and did something about resolving it.
It's easy to see problems, but seeing a problem isn't enough. Like Jesus, wherever possible, we need to take action and do something to help resolve it.
It's also easy to play the "Ain't it awful" game. "Ain't it awful that there aren't enough Sunday school teachers. Ain't it awful the shape the church bathrooms are in. Ain't it awful all this drug abuse." But ask these game-players to teach Sunday school, clean the bathrooms, or volunteer as a counselor in a drug rehab center and they're usually too busy, or they have family coming to visit, or it's just not their ministry. Instead of being moved with compassion game-players are moved with criticism.
With vision comes responsibility. Moses saw the burning bush then went to Egypt. Ezekiel saw the vision of dry bones and preached to Israel. Jesus saw you and me in a lost condition and came to earth to die on the cross to pay the price of our eternal salvation.
Sometimes we're waiting for God to give us a "special vision" or a "special call" if we are going to get involved. May I suggest that "seeing the problem" is a vital part of the call. Admittedly, we can't resolve every problem we see, but we can all give a hand in helping to resolve at least one problem.2
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please give me eyes to see, a heart to care, and a will to act—and to act in accordance with your will. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Matthew 9:36 (NIV).
2. Cindy Whetzel, Gunnery Sergeant, U.S.M.C., firstname.lastname@example.org