Compassion not Coercion

He was completely vulnerable, paralyzed from the waist down and exposed. I had done this to him. These were circumstances beyond his control. He needed the surgery performed and the only way to do this was to get him in this weakened and defenseless state. I placed the spinal anesthesia, prepped and draped his abdomen and prepared to convince, coerce and convert while he all he really wanted was to be healed.

I took advantage of this situation. Opportunities like this only presented 5-6 times daily. People who need my help and are willing to do whatever it takes for me to render them the service required. I start with questions like this: “Do you know where you will spend eternity when you die?”

Why should I be subtle? He is already frightened about the surgery, I am wearing a mask and holding a knife in my hand. Subtlety is unnecessary luxury to a surgeon, I ask again: “Are you prepared to meet Jesus if you die right now?” In this state of helplessness, he is very likely to give me whatever answer will steady my hand, help the procedure to go well and speed his recovery.

I was encouraged to do this approach by the fact that numbers seem to matter to us in ministry. ‘How many converts have you made Dr. Johnson?’ This question means; how many people have I won to Christ? How many people have I been able to make a public statement of profession in Christ. After all we know numbers are important to God. He wants us to have bigger numbers than those other religions.

Of course, I am being facetious, and I hope you have picked up on this by now. The real take on this as that we are so focused on coercion that we lose compassion in the process. Christ never told us to convert people to the faith. He did command us to love and make disciples. We have become legalists in our profession as Christian healers. We expect the law to do what only grace can do. Only grace manifest through our compassion can win people to Christ. Otherwise we are coercing people at their most vulnerable state. Single mothers, the substance and sexual addicts and those who for whatever reason remain confused are paralyzed and vulnerable to the continuing onslaught of moral suasion of the world.

The evidence that God loves them will come through compassion, not by political, social or moral coercion They are paralyzed by their life choices, chances and circumstances. They need compassionate healing of their wounds. Let’s practice our profession with compassion.

Matthew 11:4-5 Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.