Back To School Prayer Challenge, Day 5: A Student of Compassion
If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.
If you want to be happy, practice compassion.
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts,
kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and,
if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other;
as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.”
Today, we’ll be praying that our children have compassion this year. What does compassion look like at school? The first thing that comes to mind is the hot-button issue of bullying. Everyone is always talking about bullies, and how to make your kid “bully-proof”. There’s no question that it seems to be a problem that has gotten out-of-hand, but is helping our child avoid bullying where we should stop? I don’t think so.
I read an article a long time ago that basically suggested that it’s not enough to have a bully-proof kid. What you want is a kid that refuses to accept ANYONE being bullied. But that’s not a reality in our schools these days. If Bobby gets to lunch without the school bully hassling him for his lunch money, he doesn’t really care if Nick is the one who gets picked on instead. Because hey – it’s not him, right?? Wrong. A compassionate child wouldn’t be okay with anyone being bullied. It’s my prayer that my child will have so much compassion for those who are bullied, that they will stand up for them and actually try to stop it.
Can you imagine what that would do to bullying? Take your typical school yard fight – what if all the kids standing around watching were actually actively intervening on behalf of the bullied kid? No school yard bully would be able to continue in a compassionate culture like that.
Maybe your child’s school doesn’t have much of a bullying problem. But compassion can mean so many more things. It can be a willingness to help a discouraged classmate with their work that they don’t understand. It can mean a hug and high five when someone does well on a test. It can be helping someone pick up their books that they dropped in the hallway. So many ways to care for others if you are looking through the lens of compassion.
So let’s pray that our kids would have a heart for others at school – and look for ways to help, encourage, defend and show Jesus to them. As with so many other things, learning to have compassion starts at home. Pray that the Lord will help you teach compassion to your kids by modeling it in your own life, and giving them opportunities to practice it regularly.
Do you remember a time compassion was shown to you in school? If so, take some time and share that story with your child. When I was in 5th grade, I got braces. By the second day, my teeth were so sore, eating was really painful. I remember crying as I tried to eat my lunch. After lunch was over and we were back in class, I was paged on the loudspeaker to come to the office. When I got there, the principal called me over to her desk, where she had several different muffins and some jello for me! She didn’t have to do that, and I didn’t expect it, but it was an act of compassion that I really appreciated that day. And still remember!
Tomorrow, we’ll be praying for our kids to have self-control this year. 😉