My sun porch

My sun porch

Monday, March 7, 2011

More Compassion is Needed in this world

This week's memory verse:

"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience." Colossians 3:12

As I read today's lesson about compassion, I was reminded how much I NEED compassion in my life...I need people to be compassionate to me, and I have needed people to understand my situation and be comforting to me. I also need to be compassionate to others, including friends, family and especially people I DON'T know.
When I typed the memory verse, the first thing that came to my mind was what does "God's chosen people" really mean? So, in an attempt to study and understand that better, I read some appropriate scriptures, and then went online to get some more perspective on what the phrase "God's chosen people" means. What I found were some good examples of people expressing opinions that are NOT compassionate!
I don't really want to open a religious can of worms here by discussing exactly who are God's chosen people. What I do want to do is express my opinion of one thing that is wrong with the humans in this world...we want to be RIGHT so bad that we forget that God wants us to be compassionate to EVERYONE!
A Google search using the phrase "God's chosen people" led me to find THOUSANDS of entries...all from people who thought they had THE ANSWER and trashing anyone who believed differently. It is only human of us to want to be "right " in the eyes of God...but we forget that God created ALL humans. In 2 Corinthians 1:3, Paul calls God the "father of compassion." He is the ultimate example of compassion. He gave us Christ as THE example...we should look to him for HOW we are to show compassion to others.
If you are a follower of God and are comforted by his promises and by his love, then you must see that He comforts us so that we can comfort others around us. (2 Corinthians 1:4) I think we think of this when we go visit the sick, take meals to a recovering patient, comfort someone in times of grief, make someone smile when they are having a bad day...all those things are good and admirable.
But, I also believe that we need to be compassionate to people who believe differently than we do. That doesn't mean we need to bend to their way of thinking, or even agree with them. But arguments, hatred, bigotry and even wars are started when we lose that compassion for other human beings (also created by our loving God) and speak and act hatefully to them because they don't choose to believe as we do.
If our goal as Christians is to "make disciples of all nations" as Christ instructed us to do, we need to do this lovingly, showing compassion (kindness, mercy, charity, empathy, grace, and tenderness) to ALL of God's creations...including those who don't believe. Trashing a person just because they are of another religion is NOT what I believe God wants us to do. That is NOT going to make a non believer want to learn more about Christianity!
It is for God's glory that we suffer along with someone else...share their troubles and treat them with love and kindness. Yes, we are to do this for our friends, family and fellow Christians, but can you imagine how much God's glory would shine through if we could do this for people who we consider our enemies? Jesus said to love your enemies, not trash them!
Think about it do you show compassion to people in your life? I know there are people in my life that I could show more compassion about you?
We are going to be studying more about compassion this week. My prayer for all of us is for God to help us grow in understanding of what compassion truly is so that we can practice it more freely in our lives.

1 comment:

  1. I want to believe there is simply on entity that watches over us and it can never be understood by our simple, little minds. The fact that wars are fought and people die over the "cause" of religion is utterly ridiculous. Everyone thinks differently. One of God's cruel jokes is that he gave each of us a different thought process. Whether it boils down to gender (men and women DEFINITELY think differently), religion, ethnic background or whatever, we all believe in what we believe in and no one will ever change that by force.

    Why is it that we care so much what others think? I believe (and this is simply MY way of thinking) that if you treat each other with respect and sincerity it will be returned. It's the Golden Rule, the most simplistic rule that has ever been written and it applies to everything and everyone. In our world today, compassion, for whatever reason, seems to be hard to come by. Our cynicism, our anger and our inability to see arguments from both sides has created a world where it's all about "me, me me!" It would be nice if we could try to be more understanding that not everyone has lived your life. Not everyone has what you have. Not everyone feels the same about every issue. Our differences are what make us human and it's through those differences that we have survived and become better as a race.

    I enjoyed this post Lindella!