Monday, February 27, 2012

Searching For Compassion

In my heart check post last week I talked about compassion. God has been calling me to this heart check for a time now. I never fully understood what compassion meant and I really struggle with being compassionate under certain circumstances.

If you knew me before God took control of my life, this would make complete sense.

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

The funny thing about compassion is I am blessed.  When I close my eyes and think about those with less I have compassion. Is compassion not feeling sorry and wanting to help those less fortunate than me?

How sad it must make god that I can be compassionate about a stranger suffering and miss the mark so much with my family?

Psalm 145:9
The LORD is good to all;
he has compassion on all he has made.

Jesus was compassionate no matter a person’s position in life.  Rich, poor, homeless, sinner and all had his compassion. Jesus was not born to the Kings and Queens of this world but He humbly came into this world as a carpenter’s son.

Mark 1:40-42
A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, 
“If you are willing, you can make me clean.”
Filled with compassion
Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. 
“I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” 
Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured.

A Look at my glaring lack of compassions:

We were going to the bike store, since he has been faithfully riding eleven miles to work each day we have decided to get booties for his bicycle shoes.

Yes, it seemed to me like a frivolous purchase to me. We were considering paying money for plastic covers for his bicycle shoes when other things could be done with that money.

Luke 7:37-38
When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.

My husband rides his bike eleven miles one-way. It is an hour ride. He leaves for work at 5:30 a.m.  It is usually cold and dark. He does this so he can provide a comfortable life for his wife and children. He does this so I can stay home with the boys and we can have choices.

Matthew 15:32
Jesus called his disciples to him and said, 
I have compassion for these people
they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. 
I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way.”

His perception is different from mine, I tend to be a bit extreme, and he balances me. He deserves my compassion and God is teaching me how to give it.

Mark 6:34
 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, 
he had compassion on them, 
because they were like sheep without a shepherd. 
So he began teaching them many things.

Jesus had compassion on me in my blessed life. He died on the cross so that I could have life to the full. In this season of lent we are doing a spending fast, the essential only. Still I need to compassion.

I may tow a hard line but when I repent I just do it. Here are some of the things God lead me to do to find my compassion. 

Tens ways to be more compassionate:

1. Know the true meaning of compassion. Use a dictionary to define the word.

2. Study Jesus' example of compassion, they are eight verses that use compassion in reference to Jesus.

3. Do a bible word study of compassion. In the NIV there are 74 references for compassion.

4. Pray for a compassionate heart toward those in your life. We over come so many things only by the power of pray.

5. Respect the other's person point of view. You will never know what life is like for another person.   

6. Love them where they are. Not every one is ready to cut off their arm and throw it into the fire to be saved.
Hebrews 5:12-14
In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, 
you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. 
You need milk, not solid food! 
Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, 
is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 
But solid food is for the mature, 
who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.

7. Stop judging based on what they have
 Luke 6:37   
“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. 
Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. 
Forgive, and you will be forgiven.

8. Stop and listen to the trials of others.
Matthew 20:32-34
Jesus stopped and called them. 
“What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.
“Lord,” they answered, “we want our sight.”
Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes
Immediately they received their sight and followed him.

9. Be honest. Jesus also shared his perspective on our world as he taught.
Ephesians 4:14-16
Then we will no longer be infants, 
tossed back and forth by the waves, 
and blown here and there by every wind of teaching 
and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. 
Instead, speaking the truth in love, 
we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. 
From him the whole body, 
joined and held together by every supporting ligament, 
grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

10. Allow yourself some grace.

Choosing to be more compassionate at home, what about you! 

Top Ten Tuesday at Many Little Blessings