Compassion

Compassion is a trademark of the heart of Jesus. In the descriptions of what motivated Him to act, this word is often used. He looked with compassion on the people of Jerusalem, seeing them as sheep without a shepherd. Even when this lack of a shepherd was by choice (they continually rejected God’s advances), He looked at them through eyes not of criticism, frustration, or condemnation, but of compassion. This is remarkable. He even knew what they would soon do to Him, and yet He was filled with compassion.

Comparing this heart to the one in me is quite an exercise. I often tire of needy people and become critical of their actions or motives. I desire to be motivated by love and compassion, but find this quality lacking in me. It is an area in which I am not Jesus-like. I am realizing again that in me dwells no good thing (it all depends on your standard). In this culture I can be quite stretched. I was often stretched in my career at home but more work typically meant more money (reward) and this made it tolerable. Here the needs are great and the demands for help even greater, and tangible reward is notably lacking. It’s so often clear that my compassion is lacking more than I would like to think. I get tired and irritable and I look for ways to escape. Every now and then I glimpse in me what may be a hint of compassion but then the inner battle resumes as to who is in control and where will I draw lines as to how much of me I will give.

The Bible talks about becoming a slave or servant, characterized as such by not having rights. I inwardly fight this, not wanting to relinquish my right to “my” time and how I spend “my” energy and resources. I like to serve when I choose, according to my schedule. Living in a third world setting really highlights these competing desires in me; to serve selflessly or to hold on to what is “mine” (serve selfishly). I get plenty of opportunities to serve, and how I serve is up to me. I can work to get the job done so I can do what I want to do or I can serve so that I’ll feel better about myself. Or I can look through eyes of compassion, placing the interests and well-being of each person above my own, laying down my rights to me and my time. I face this choice so many times each day. I suppose I am writing because I see myself currently as mostly losing the battle.

As you read this, please pray for me; that I will continue to fight, that I will continue to look to Jesus and not to myself for my source of strength and joy, and that I will keep pressing on to serve with compassion.

 

Random Reminders:

 

He who is faithful in little things will be given more.

In the work place, honesty, integrity, hard work, and good people skills will always have more value than ability, education, and experience.

Illness is no more of the devil than a hurricane or a physician’s error.  The real question is, "Do I trust God?" (Who is all-powerful and good, cherishing all involved, and who could have altered the circumstance, yet chose not to).

To murder is wrong.  To shoot someone in the back is to shoot one defenseless, and is worse.  To slander (speak ill of one not present) is the same.

He can be trusted who knows that he will one day stand before God.

Our choices affect our health and well-being far more than do other people.

Many who are in want choose to be.

God loves allowing people to participate in His works of love, healing, rescue, teaching, encouraging, listening… 

The participation of the hand in a task created by, chosen by, and guided by, the Head, in no way indicates that the Head didn’t create, choose and guide the work.

No storm continues forever and the most severe are usually the shortest.

Why does physical healing need to be miraculous (in our perception) for God to receive glory and gratitude?

Each and every breath is a gift that, before our birth, we didn’t request or earn.

You see a life "cut short" as a travesty, but when was the last time that you thanked the Giver of life for this single, additional, given day?

Regarding God, seeking to understand Him and His ways completely is like seeking the end of a rainbow.  The closer you think you are, the less you see.

One comment

  1. Tim and Betsy. Read your blog and want to tell you that it is only because of your incredible compassion that you think you lack compassion. I and the guys that were there last fall saw and experienced your heart and it is compassionate and caring. I know that you have a rare attribute that I have seldom seen. That is when you talk to someone you really listen and when you ask a question about them you really want to know the truth and answer. You don’t just ask to be polite but being real. That my good man is why you get overwhelmed. But God does great things through you. Lots of people love and care for you guys and know He loves you too. You deserve a break sometimes too. Take it without guilt. Doug Springer

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