We survived another Christmas … YAY!!
I got several requests to post these entries (that I did on my radio segment earlier this month) on my BLOG, so here is the second one (I posted the first one yesterday; the third one will post tomorrow):
Gift of Compassion
Compassion – the dictionary defines this as “a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.”
Do we truly know what that looks like in today’s society? We have moved away from families living close – available to help when needed – to a very independent people who are mostly concerned with their needs, their lives and their own problems. We find consolation on Facebook and if we have questions, we ask Google. We seem to have blinders on – like that of a horse – so that our focus is only on our own little path ahead.
So I’m wondering if this is such a good thing. I’m wondering if we have become so self reliant and independent that we have missed the whole point in life, which is to serve God but to also serve others. In Mark 12:30, Jesus says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” Jesus’ life was all about loving and serving His Father in heaven and then loving and serving mankind – even to the point of torture, crucifixion and death. Why? Compassion. We are stricken by misfortune and Jesus has a deep sympathy and sorrow for us accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate our suffering.
How can we obtain this gift of compassion like Christ? How do I start looking at the world through His eyes? Well, we start by becoming aware – aware of Jesus’s characteristics and an awareness of His Word. Second Corinthians 1:3 tells us that God is the Father of compassion. He knows our struggles and strongholds. Colossians 3:12 says that we are to clothe ourselves with compassion. In other words, compassion is a feeling that we decide to wear – just as we would put on a jacket. James 5:11 tells us the Lord is full of compassion and mercy. I see this whenever I read and think about the Israelites – God’s chosen people. He certainly had compassion and mercy on them over and over. He does the same for us. In Mark 1:41, Jesus had compassion on a man with leprosy – He even touched the man and healed him. Mark 6:34 tells us of Jesus’s compassion on a very large group of folks that were like a flock of sheep without a shepherd. Mark 8:2 shares the story of Jesus feeding a crowd of 4,000 – because He had compassion on them. Matthew 20:29 is the story of two blind men who kept calling out for Jesus to heal them and, again, Jesus had compassion for them and healed them.
The examples are many – disease, blindness, hunger, aimless wanderers – Jesus not only saw these people – but was filled with compassion for them. It was this compassion that led to an action – He healed, He restored, He fed, and He led.
What would it look like if you clothed yourself with the gift of compassion? What would it look like if you allowed yourself to be filled with compassion and then acted on it? Remember, to the world you may be just one person, but to one person, you may be the world!