We live in a cold, cold world. By that I mean that people seem to have developed a tough exterior to things that would normally trigger compassion, kindness, gentleness, and empathy. I'm not sure if it's because we've been hurt so much or if it's because we feel that's the only way we will survive but I do know that it seems like it's tough for many of us to remain tender-hearted.
I believe when God walked the earth He was tender-hearted. He felt compassion when the crowds pressed in to see Him, He felt tenderness and love when there was grieving and He even seemed to find a way to understand that lost people only know how to act lost and so He was gentle yet firm with them.
One thing seems obvious to me God never grew a hardened heart. No matter how many times He had to explain something or how many times He saw people make the same mistakes He continued to show compassion towards them.
Of course He was perfect.
Knowing God was perfect and we are not; to me, doesn't give us an excuse to grow a hard or cold heart. I know for some of us we are in positions where it is so easy to build a wall around ourselves because we feel that taking a tough stand is the only way we will be able to emotionally survive. But I ask you this where is your faith? Surely, my great God can give you the strength you need to remain soft and loving in your current role and position can He not?
As believers, I think it is crucial that we try to remain soft and tender-hearted. I think that is one character trait that will help us stand out from the rest of the world. "For they will know us by our love."
Whether you are a Pastor, a Sunday School teacher, a missionary, a counselor, bus driver, prison guard, nurse, or carpenter it is up to you to find ways to reach the lost and minister to them where you are. Sometimes, the only way to do that is to reach deep inside and ask God to give you understanding, and compassion for someone else.
People need to feel loved and cared for today, more than ever. Are you the one who will show them that gentleness and kindness they seek? Yes, they may take advantage of it but then that is between them and God. It is only up to us to do right by someone else and show love.
Let's try to find extra ways in which we can show a soft heart to the world. Look at how you respond and act and see if there aren't times where you know you are gruffer and show a harsher tongue than maybe you ought. And ask God to replace those hardened moments with softer responses. If you believe and really want to make an impact, I know He can and will.