Monday, February 20, 2017
The Extinction of Compassion
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” 2 Co 1:3-4.
The Greek translation for compassion in this verse is powerful in its purest form, and is only used 5 times in New Testament. The word embodies the deepest seat of our emotions, and is characterizing the deep feelings of God. This level of compassion is our response to others as if what they are experiencing is actually happening to us. Showing compassion to others is easy when we have experienced the same difficulty such as grief, divorce or other life experiences. But the depth in compassion in which this verse describes is compassion for someone else’s pain even when we cannot relate. This compassion can only come from God since He is the source of all compassion. If we do not feel compassion for the heart of others we are disconnected from God’s view of them. We are seeing them through our own opinions and condemnation. Our lack of compassion can break the very spirit of another person’s heart.
We only have to look on social media to see the lack of compassion and encouragement that God intends us to share with all people. We have an amazing tool of comfort at our fingertips but so many times we misuse those keystrokes. So many times, we share something that is distasteful…hurtful… misunderstood. I have certainly been guilty of withholding compassion for someone with whom I disagreed. I have been guilty of selfishly hoarding encouragement towards someone who has hurt me. But God calls us to something higher. He calls us to love when we don’t feel it…show mercy when we are hurt…have a compassionate heart for others when we don’t understand their struggle. We have neither the capacity nor the ability to accomplishment this on our own. But when we rise above our own judgment we can see others more clearly through God’s eyes and meet them at their point of need.
I love what Kelly Minter shared in her Bible Study this morning in All Things New. She stated that while the suffering of Christ flows over into our lives it is the comfort of God that flows through Jesus Christ into our hearts. I'm so grateful that Christ didn't block the flow by condemning me for my sins. It was because He lived with an open and compassionate heart for all that I am able to receive the same from God. Now that is some good news this morning and exemplifies the manner in which we should walk out our lives.
“For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.” 2 Co 1:5.