My Bowels Hurt

Do to others as you would have them do to you. 

(Luke 6:31  New International Version UK)

DUO The Golden Rule.  “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  I heard it about as often as I heard “If you don’t have anything nice to say….”  You know the rest.

Everyone quotes The Golden Rule but how many people live by it?  And the few that do, who do they apply it to?  I know who I apply it to, people I like and people I know.  It’s easy to put this rule to use with our friends, but it’s a different story all together when talking about someone we don’t like or don’t know. 

I’ll go out of my way, I’ll sacrifice, I’ll endure pain and misery for a friend or family member, but what about for the stranger in Wal-Mart?  What about the guy at work I can’t stand?  How about the lady at Church that reminds me of fingernails being drug across a chalkboard?  It’s easy to love the loveable.  It’s no big deal to sacrifice for a sister or your Dad.  But someone I either don’t know or don’t like?  That’s a different story.

Let’s look at that verse in context with the rest of the paragraph.  I’m also going to switch Bible versions to mix it up a bit.

Here is a simple rule of thumb for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you; then grab the initiative and do it for them! If you only love the lovable, do you expect a pat on the back? Run-of-the-mill sinners do that. If you only help those who help you, do you expect a medal? Garden-variety sinners do that. If you only give for what you hope to get out of it, do you think that’s charity? The stingiest of pawnbrokers does that.  (Luke 6:31-34  The Message)

Oops.  That put it into perspective for me, how about you?  I love helping people.  Let me correct that, I love helping people I like.  Friends and family call all the time.  “Can you help me move?” sure  “Can you work on my truck?” no problem.  “Can you figure out why my outlet doesn’t work?”  be there in 5. 

I even love helping people I don’t know.  Guy broke down on the side of the road?  I’m already pulling over.  Lady having trouble reaching something on the top shelf at the store?  I’m already reaching for it.  But help someone that I don’t like, or worse, someone that hurt me?  Now you’re asking a lot. 

The problem is that we lack compassion, real compassion.  Jesus had it.

Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes; and immediately they regained their sight and followed Him.  (Matthew 20:34  New American Standard Bible)

Now I don’t want to get all Bibleological (not really a word) but I think it’s important to look at the Greek word for compassion.  The Greek word is Splagchnizomai.  Don’t try to pronounce it, it hurts.  If you want to hear it you can click on the word and there is a little speaker that you can click on.

Anyway, Splagchnizomai means “to be moved as to one’s bowels, hence to be moved with compassion, have compassion (for the bowels were thought to be the seat of love and pity)”   (This is where the title of this post came from!) 

In other words, to be so moved with compassion that it hurts your stomach.  Ever see a report of a child having been raped and killed on T.V. and your stomach tensed up and you wished you could have done something to help?  You get that little knot in your gut.  That’s compassion, but that’s not the end of compassion.  To show true compassion requires you to act.  You can feel it, but it means absolutely nothing until you act.  Jesus could have had all the compassion in the world and it wouldn’t have meant squat to these men with no sight.  They wouldn’t have cared.  It was the “show” of compassion that changed their lives forever, sight restored, hope renewed, life regained.

Here’s something else to think about, did you go to that website earlier by clicking on the Greek word?  If not, take a second and do it now.  Click HERE!  Look to the right, see the links for Matthew, Mark and Luke?   Splagchnizomai is used 12 times in the New Testament and 8 of those times it refers to Jesus having compassion on someone and then showing compassion to them.  He has compassion on the crowds and sends His disciples out to heal and feed them, He has compassion and then heals.  He has compassion and then teaches.  He has compassion on a woman and brings her son back to life.  Every time the word compassion is mentioned in connection to Jesus He “does” something to help.

As a Christ-Follower I say I am compassionate, but to say I am compassionate and do nothing makes me only a liar.  As Christ-Followers we say we are compassionate, but to say we are compassionate and do nothing makes us all liars. 

So here’s the deal.  When you see someone hurting, sick, broke or in any other situation that needs action, act!  Don’t think about it, don’t analyze it, just do it.  Obviously safety comes into play here, ladies, if you see someone broke down on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere, be smart.  Call someone to help them.  But if you see someone in Wal-Mart struggling, help.  If you see a young family in Mc Donald’s and you know just by looking at them that this is a rare treat that they can barely afford, pay for their meal.  Don’t make a big deal out of it, just walk up and slip $20.00 on the counter in front of them, tell them Jesus loves them,  and walk away. 

We walk past people every day that need help.  We stare straight ahead or are to busy typing an SMS to notice.  I’m as guilty as everyone else.  But if we want to show people that Jesus loves them, we have to show them that Jesus loves them.  This implies action, getting dirty, dropping a $20 on the counter at Burger King. 

I want to do this.  I want to show Jesus’ love in a practical and helpful way.  How about you?

Last week on my Birthday I posted a teaser for something I have been working on.  I posted a verse at the end,

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  Luke 6:31

What I have done is create a graphic design for a standard size business card.  It is fully customizable.  You can add colors, logo’s, address, website etc…  It is intended for individuals, churches, Christian organizations, charities, pretty much anyone and anything that wants to help people because they love Jesus. 

You can take it to your church or Christian group and customize it to reflect your ministry, have it printed and then hand them out.  The design work is all free.  I am not charging anything for it.  The printing is up to you.  You can print them at home, at Office Depot or online.  One website allows you to print 250 for about $25.00.  That’s pretty reasonable.  Here is one I designed to hand out to tell people that God loves them and has my website on the back so they can get in touch with me if they have any questions or need anything.  I call them DUO cards.  DUO stands for “Do Unto Others



If this looks like something you might like to use I encourage you to visit the “DUO” page listed at the top of my blog or just click “DUO” and it will take you there.  There is more information and FAQ’s on that page.  Again, all free except the printing.

I hope it encourages you to not only “have” compassion but also to ‘”show” compassion to others, whether you like them or not.

Did you like this post?  Did you hate it?  Please share it with your friends and leave a comment below.  I would love to read your thoughts and opinions.

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Questions?  Don’t forget to visit the Questions??Questions?? page and let me know.  I will try to answer it the best I can.  No Quantum Physics or Time Travel questions please!

I’m not Einstein!

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4 Responses

  1. Another fantastic blog! I can’t wait to read these now…and the burning question is: when do you start your own church? I actually WANT to attend-everything you state is logical, informational, and concise-there’s no way to argue the points because it’s such a simple message. There are few people who possess the ability to harness words in such a way to move others (and you do, with finesse and tremendous insight)~bravo! Keep these coming and soon you will have touched many who are floundering in their pool of uncertainty (one being me) and bring light and joy to their world through inspiration…
    Simply put, thanks (in a big way).

  2. Hmmm. So, if compassion=action, what do I do for my professor while I watch him lead scores of students astray with illogical “facts” of how the Bible is wrong??

    Great post, as always.

  3. @ Beth! Been there, done that! No plans to start a church anytime soon unless I do an online church! Besides, a plain ticket to Panama City every Sunday might get a wee but expensive! Thanks for the encouragement! I love doing this.

    @Em- I would say print up a few of the DUO cards, stalk his every step and wait until he needs help with something and then POUNCE! Help him out and give him a card and then walk away!! Just an idea!

  4. If I get in trouble with the law for stalking, can I blame you?

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