Compassion

20161217_092300Therefore, as God’s choice, holy and loved, put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Be tolerant with each other and, if someone has a complaint against anyone, forgive each other. As the Lord forgave you, so also forgive each other. And over all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.  The peace of Christ must control your hearts—a peace into which you were called in one body. And be thankful people. The word of Christ must live in you richly. Teach and warn each other with all wisdom by singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Sing to God with gratitude in your hearts. Whatever you do, whether in speech or action, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus and give thanks to God the Father through him. ~Colossians 3:12-17 (CEB)

If I claim to be a follower of Jesus I cannot ignore the needs of the world, neither can I look away from the needs of the world. If my life is modeled after the one I claim to follow, then I will, as Jesus did, look with compassion upon all who cross my path. Seeing as Jesus does requires the further step of seeking to alleviate the pain that stirs up my compassion.

The author of Colossians calls the followers of Christ to clothe themselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. It is interesting to note that the first of them is compassion. As a chosen child of God, it is my only option. To be chosen by God’s beloved one I cannot help but reciprocate with gratitude and goodness. Therefore my response of compassion for the world is really a response of the Love God has unqualifiedly given.

When Jesus saw a need, he had compassion, but it didn’t stop there. He sought to remedy that need. The pain I see in the world draws out compassion from within me but compassion does no one any good if it remains just a feeling. It must be turned into action.

Heavenly Father, You’ve given me Your eyes to see, You hands to do, Your love to give to the hurts I see around me. Help me to draw upon the strength You promised me to stand up for those You love, to love with Your heart those You love. When I open my mouth may it only be Your words that pour forth. Amen.

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