If you aim to be a compassionate Christian, steer clear of these 9 behaviors

Being a compassionate Christian is more than just professing faith. It’s about practicing kindness, empathy, and understanding, every day.

However, there are certain behaviors that can hinder us from genuinely embodying these values. These are habits we may not even realize we’re doing, yet they subtly undermine our attempts to live out a truly compassionate Christian life.

In this article, “If you aim to be a compassionate Christian, steer clear of these 9 behaviors”, we’re going to spotlight these behaviors. Take note, these aren’t intended to shame or blame, but simply to help us become more aware and make the necessary changes towards a more compassionate Christian life.

1) Judging others

If there’s one behavior that can quickly derail our journey to becoming a compassionate Christian, it’s the habit of judging others.

We all know that it’s human nature to judge. We assess, we compare, we categorize. But as Christians, we’re asked to take a step back from this instinct, to love unconditionally and empathize deeply.

Remember the famous Biblical phrase, “Judge not, that you be not judged”. It’s a clear call for us to leave judgment to God and focus on understanding and loving our fellow humans.

When we judge, we create barriers. We distance ourselves from others and miss opportunities to show compassion.

The danger here is that judging can be a subtle habit. We might not even realize we’re doing it. But once we become aware of this tendency, we can start to work on being more accepting and less judgemental – a key step towards being a compassionate Christian.

So if you find yourself quick to judge, take a moment. Seek understanding instead. Practice empathy. It’s not about condoning negative behavior but about fostering love and compassion – the very essence of Christianity.

2) Neglecting self-care

For a long time, I found myself so caught up in the act of serving others that I neglected my own wellbeing. This is a common trap many Christians fall into – thinking that self-care is selfish.

But let me share a lesson I learned the hard way.

One day, I woke up feeling completely burnt out. I had been so focused on caring for others that my own health and happiness had taken a backseat. I realized then that I couldn’t pour from an empty cup – no one can.

It’s important to understand that self-care isn’t selfish; it’s necessary. Caring for our own physical, emotional, and spiritual health is not just good for us; it also enables us to better care for others.

Being a compassionate Christian means loving others as we love ourselves, and that includes taking care of ourselves too. So remember, it’s okay – and necessary – to put on your oxygen mask first before helping others with theirs.

3) Gossiping

Gossiping, unfortunately, is a prevalent part of our society, often seen as harmless chatter or even a way to bond with others. But did you know that the Bible mentions gossip over 20 times, always in a negative context?

Gossip involves sharing information about others, often behind their back and without their knowledge. It can lead to mistrust and animosity and goes against the Christian values of love and respect.

As Christians aiming for compassion, we’re called to build people up, not tear them down. And that includes in our conversations about them when they’re not around.

Instead of engaging in gossip, we can choose to speak positively about others or better still, encourage direct communication to resolve any issues or misunderstandings.

So next time you find yourself tempted to gossip, remember what the Bible says and choose a more compassionate path.

4) Holding grudges

Let’s be honest, it’s easy to hold onto anger and resentment when someone has wronged us. Forgiveness can feel like a tall order. But as compassionate Christians, we’re called upon to forgive, just as we’ve been forgiven.

Holding grudges only serves to hurt us more than the people we’re angry at. It sows seeds of bitterness, robbing us of peace and joy.

On the other hand, forgiveness is liberating. It allows us to let go of the burden of resentment and offers a chance for healing and growth.

But remember, forgiveness doesn’t mean allowing others to continue hurting us. It’s about releasing the hurt and moving forward, free from the weight of resentment.

So if you’re holding onto any grudges, take a step towards forgiveness today. It may not be easy, but it’s a crucial step towards living a compassionate Christian life.

5) Being ungrateful

A grateful heart is a joyful heart. Yet, in our busy lives, we sometimes forget to pause and appreciate the blessings we’ve been given.

Being ungrateful or always focusing on what we lack can lead to a negative mindset that overshadows our ability to show compassion to others.

As Christians, we’re encouraged to “give thanks in all circumstances”. This doesn’t mean we have to be happy about everything that happens. Instead, it’s about recognizing the blessings, even in the midst of challenges.

Practicing gratitude not only fosters positivity but also humbles us. It reminds us of our dependence on God and encourages empathy towards others who might be facing their own struggles.

So make it a habit to count your blessings. Not only will it uplift your spirit, but it will also open your heart to show more compassion towards others.

6) Ignoring the needs of others

Our world is filled with people who are hurting, and as compassionate Christians, we’re called to respond to their needs.

But sometimes, we can get so caught up in our own lives that we become oblivious to the pain and suffering around us. We rush past the homeless person on the street, ignore the lonely neighbor next door, or scroll past the news of a natural disaster without a second thought.

Part of being a compassionate Christian is developing a sensitive heart that notices these needs and responds to them. It’s about making an effort to reach out, lend a helping hand, share a comforting word, or even just offer a listening ear.

So let’s make it a point to look beyond our own circumstances and see the needs of others. Let’s extend love, care, and compassion to those who need it most. After all, isn’t that what being a Christian is all about?

7) Neglecting prayer

There was a time when I saw prayer as just another item on my daily to-do list. I’d rush through it, barely taking the time to connect with God or listen for His voice.

Then, life threw me a curveball. I felt lost, overwhelmed, and prayer suddenly became my lifeline. It was during those quiet moments of prayer that I found comfort, guidance, and a sense of peace.

Prayer is more than just a religious ritual. It’s our direct line to God. It’s where we pour out our hearts, express our gratitude, seek guidance, and find solace.

Neglecting prayer can lead to a sense of disconnection from God and from our Christian values. It can leave us feeling empty and less compassionate towards others.

But when we make prayer a priority, we nurture our relationship with God and align ourselves with His love and compassion. So let’s not neglect this powerful tool we’ve been given. Let’s use it to draw closer to God and become more compassionate Christians.

8) Being indifferent to injustice

In a world filled with injustice, it can be tempting to turn a blind eye and carry on with our lives. But as Christians striving for compassion, we’re called to stand up against injustice and advocate for those who are oppressed.

Indifference to injustice goes against the Christian values of love, compassion, and fairness. It’s not enough to simply refrain from unjust actions; we must also actively oppose them.

This means standing up for the rights of those who can’t stand up for themselves, speaking out against unfair practices, and working towards creating a just and equitable society.

Remember, compassion isn’t passive; it’s active. It involves taking action to alleviate suffering and promote justice. So let’s not be indifferent to injustice. Let’s strive to make a difference, no matter how small it may seem.

9) Forgetting to love

At the heart of being a compassionate Christian is love. It’s the greatest commandment we’ve been given – to love God and to love others as we love ourselves.

Without love, all our efforts to be compassionate are in vain. Love is what fuels compassion, what makes us go the extra mile for others, what compels us to be kind even when it’s hard.

But sometimes, we can get so caught up in our routines and responsibilities that we forget to show love – to our families, our friends, our neighbors, and even to ourselves.

So let’s make a conscious effort to keep love at the center of everything we do. Because ultimately, it’s love that truly makes us compassionate Christians.

Final reflection: The power of compassion

Being a compassionate Christian goes beyond simply following a set of rules or avoiding certain behaviors. It’s a way of life, deeply rooted in the transformative power of love and kindness.

It’s about seeing the image of God in every person we encounter, treating them with the same love, respect, and dignity that we would want for ourselves.

The Apostle Paul reminded us in Colossians 3:12, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”

This scripture is not just a command; it’s an invitation to embody the very essence of Christianity – to live out a life of compassion.

As we reflect on these behaviors to avoid and strive towards becoming more compassionate Christians, let’s remember that it’s a journey. There will be missteps and there will be victories. But at every step, let’s keep our hearts open to love, our minds open to learning, and our spirits open to the divine guidance that leads us towards true compassion.

What would Jesus say?

Unsure whether to move on from a failed marriage? Struggling with desire and feeling guilty for it? Wanting to live a life Jesus would be proud of?

Let Jesus tell you how to be a good Christian according to the teachings of the Bible.

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Graeme Richards

Graeme Richards

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