Compassion Conviction: When You Need to Set the Standard

Ephesians 4:32: Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

It was the night before school started and I was tucking my oldest son into bed.  Our normal routine consists of prayers and sweet discussions about the day and about what the next day may bring. The nerves were high and he was full of questions in anticipation of what this school year was going to be like.  We had prayed all summer for his teacher and his classmates.  I was answering his questions and we were talking about God’s love and how we are all made different. I had just read a blog on compassion the day before.  I thought what better way to start the school year than a lesson on compassion tied in with all his many questions.

I told him that his teacher and the students in his class were all gifts from God—that as the school year unfolds the gifts of each child will unfold.  “Mom,” he asked, “what is compassion?”  I told him to the level he would understand that compassion is the way we treat people.  We treat people the way we want to be treated—that we all come from different backgrounds but Jesus loves us the same.  I challenged him to reach out to a student that maybe nobody is playing with at recess and be a friend. I want him to remember to think about how others may feel in every situation.

As I started to think about the conversation I had with him and I felt convicted.  Am I showing the compassion I need to be showing towards others? Am I being a good example to my children in order to teach them how to be compassionate?  What standard am I holding my children to? There are days I just go through the motions of our daily schedules and not pause or have a good conversation with anyone.   How can I be compassionate if I don’t even really interact with others? So, just to get started in a simple daily activity, I decided to make a point each morning to come into work and say good morning to all my co-workers. I’m finding that it is helping me to look for the good in people and even pray for those that seem negative or unwilling to say “good morning” back to me. You just never know what other people are going through, and instead of thinking they are mean or rude, I can pray that God will give them peace and comfort.

A few key verses that stuck out to me as I was reflecting on compassion:

Galatians 5:22-23:  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Colossians 3:12:  Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hears, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.

John 7:24: Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.

Luke 1: 30-35:  Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him.

Remember as Christians we are the living example! How can you practice compassion in your everyday schedule?

~Leah

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