WHAT ABOUT COMPASSION?

Senior and young holding handsWhat have we done to compassion? As Christians we are to be caring, compassionate people. Too often, however, we find ourselves behaving as the Pharisees did in the time of Jesus: we care more for traditions than for people. Sure, we are quick to sympathize at the death of a loved one. We will empathize when someone is going through a tough patch. These are not the same as compassion. Compassion literally means to “suffer together.” When we have compassion, when we suffer together with someone, we are filled with a desire to remove the cause of the suffering. At least we would be, if we allowed ourselves to feel true compassion. How often have we been critical when we should be listening, truly listening? How quick are we to tell others how to live their lives when we don’t have our own lives under control? How many times have we tried to remove the speck from our brother’s eyes and never tried to remove the beam from our own? If God has forgiven, then who do we think we are to continue to punish? Have we ever made it harder to be a member of a local congregation than God has made it to go to Heaven? Yes, we are to love God more than Man; however this does not mean we are to stop loving each other in order to love God. Too often we act as if we only have a limited quantity of love and we have to choose whether we love God or anything or anyone else. The truth is far from this concept. The more we love God, the more we should love each other, especially those we call brothers and sisters. The scriptures are clear that we are to love each other, bear each other’s burdens, pray for each other, and even love our enemies. If what we call “love” does not have true compassion (suffering together) involved, then how can it possibly be love? – George V. Stewart 2014
“. . . clothe yourselves with compassion . . .” Colossians 3:12

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