When our rules get in the way of compassion
Updated: Apr 9, 2022
"Then Jesus said to them, “I ask you, which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy it?” (Luke 6:9)
A few Sunday's ago, we read Luke 5:17-6:11. In these accounts of Jesus' ministry, He was challenged by the religious leaders at the time regarding acts of mercy and compassion that He showed the people because He did not follow the rules they had set up to determine godly behavior. In reality their rules were not in line with God's heart and Jesus showed how far that these rules had gotten off track. It can be easy to look back at the Pharisees and think about how bad they were and that we would never act like them and yet it is in our sinful nature to put our rules and interpretation of what it means to follow God above what He actually wants us to do. These rules can show up as personal convictions, political persuasions, government or work policies that may have spring from God's Word but have been mixed with other thoughts and ideologies thereby removing the original heart and intent.
After sharing this message, I was humbled by seeing that I have these rules embedded in my though patterns more than I imagined which would cause me to withhold helping another in cases that might put me in a situation where I may be misunderstood or misjudged. And so I needed to repent because if Jesus was willing to be accused of eating and drinking with tax collectors and sinners, why would I want anything more than to be accused as my master was.
Our personal rules and principles may not be verbalized but can skew our behavior from acts of love and compassion. We must be cognizant of this internal leaning and ask the Holy Spirit to help us to let go of the controlling spirit that allows us to push everything and everyone away that does not line up with our standards and realize that Jesus was willing to get His hands dirty to show the lost His great love and to save them from destruction.