By Pat Ennis, Guest Blogger
As I craft this post, COVID-19 is ravaging our world and dramatically altering life as we knew it.
Listening to the media, viewing the statistics, and attempting to project into the future can cause us to suffer “spiritual amnesia.” This is especially in relation to the application of our heavenly Father’s instructions relating to compassionate hospitality (literally, the love of strangers – Heb.13:2).
James 2:14–16 teaches us, “If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and be filled, and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?’ Even so faith, if it has not works, is dead, being by itself.”
Imitate Our Father
As we concentrate on applying James 2:14-16 to our lives during the Pandemic, we recall that one of the attributes of our heavenly Father’s character is compassion. As His children we should manifest:
- A sense of empathy for the distress of others (Rom. 9:15).
- The desire to minimize this distress (Matt. 9:36, 14:14, 15:32, 18:27, 20:34; Mark 1:41, 6:34, 8:2, 9:22; Luke 7:13, 10:33 15:20).
- A heart that demonstrates kindness and mercy (Matt. 18:33; Mark 5:19; Jude 22).
Act with Compassion
Our Lord Jesus’ lifestyle demonstrates that biblical compassion always results in action. Consider several of His responses:
- Having experienced physical hunger, He empathized with the hunger of others (Matt. 4:2).
- He offered rest to the spiritually bankrupt (Matt. 11:28-30).
- He brought comfort and encouragement to the weak and oppressed (Isa. 40:11, 42:3; Matt. 12:18-21).
- He ministered to physical and spiritual needs (Matt. 14:13-21; Mark 6:31-44, 8:2; Luke 9:11-17; John 6:1-13).
- He attended to the afflicted (Luke 7:13; John 11:33, 35).
- He alleviated the plight of the diseased (Mark 1:41).
- He offered hope to perishing sinners (Matt. 9:36; Luke 19:41; John 3:16).
Though “sheltering in” and “social distancing” may prevent us from practicing compassionate hospitality in our homes,* perhaps a question we should pose is “How can I practice compassionate hospitality today?”
Compassionate Hospitality During COVID-19
As you consider the suggestions below and add yours to them, remember that practicing compassionate hospitality is not measured by how we feel but by what we do in response to how we feel.
Today I can practice compassionate hospitality by:
- Providing material needs.
- Weeping, mourning, praying, and, when appropriate, fasting for others.
- Sharing my faith with the spiritually bankrupt.
- Encouraging the weak and oppressed.
- Assisting with the needs of the infirmed.
If we allow God to lift our eyes above the current circumstances, we are reminded that we are to eagerly respond to others regardless of the raging Pandemic.
Pat Ennis is a Certified Family and Consumer Science Educator. Her life’s mission is to love her Lord with all her heart, walk worthy of her calling, and train younger women to fulfill the Titus 2 mandate so that God’s Word will not be discredited.
Pat is also the author of several books. You can purchase them using our Christianbook.com affiliate link below.
Books by Pat Ennis