“And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. So He began to teach them many things.” (Mark 6:34)

“I don’t enjoy being around non-Christians.” Who does? They can be selfish, inconsiderate, rude, and obnoxious—just like some Christians!

The Bible never asks, “Do you enjoy being with non-Christians?” Instead it challenges us to have compassion for them. Four times in the Gospel of Mark it states that Christ was filled with compassion toward unbelievers. Mark 6:34 explains why—they were like sheep without a shepherd. In other words, He looked beyond the person to the problem, beyond the conduct to the condition.

People who don’t know the Lord act the way they do because they are the people they are—controlled by Satan, dead in trespasses and sins, and without the power of the Holy Spirit. They have no choice but to act, talk, and believe as Satan directs.

When we contemplate that reality, our hearts go out toward non-Christians. No longer do we concern ourselves with whether or not we enjoy them. The issue is whether or not we have compassion for them. Such a perspective moves our hearts in their direction and causes us to reach out to them with the message of the saving grace of Christ.

Ask God to help you see people the way He sees them—as sheep without a shepherd.

(Adapted from 31 Days with the Master Fisherman)