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Wednesday
May112011

“Compassion Beyond Measure”

I have been giving a lot of thought lately to the subject of compassion.  I have been involved in Caring Ministry for many years and have come to grips with the fact we all have a need for compassion.  And yet as I sing these words from the song, “Mighty to Save:” – Everyone needs compassion; the kindness of a Savior, love that never fails; let mercy fall on me; Everyone needs forgiveness; the kindness of a Savior…,” I recognize that my compassion has limits; that while I desire to have the kind of compassion that includes kindness, mercy, and forgiveness, I often fall short of extending that compassion to ALL who are around me.  There are many in my life/in my ministry for whom showing compassion is a ‘piece of cake.’  Others whom I encounter – not so much!  They are those ‘irregular people’ in my life - difficult to care for; difficult to show compassion to!  As I ponder the words, I come to grips with the very real need and my inadequacy to even begin meeting such need.  However, there is Someone who can meet that need for compassion, kindness, mercy and forgiveness.  Listen to this verse from Scripture:

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail…”  His compassion does not have limits – it is compassion beyond measure.

If we accept that we ALL have a need for compassion, how might that need be met?  As you look in the mirror, would you describe the person looking back at you as a compassionate person?  Even if the answer is ‘yes,’ what might the limits of your compassion be?  There are certain people in our lives or in the news, for that matter, who elicit compassion from us:  the special needs child who runs his hardest in the race and crosses the finish line with a broad smile on his face; the brand new mommy whose husband has just been deployed; the baby who is the victim of parental abuse; the friend who recently lost his job; the couple who had to file for bankruptcy; the woman who was the victim of a car jacking; the young woman who was not invited to prom when all her friends were going.

But – what about these examples:  the husband who decides to leave his wife; the classroom bully; the ‘talker’ in a meeting who has ‘all the answers’ and won’t let anyone else get a word in edgewise; the passive-aggressive person.  Where is our compassion level in some of these instances?

AND … understanding that not only do we all NEED compassion, but that God’s compassion never fails, perhaps our assignment from God is more about sharing His compassion with others; letting them know of His love for them.

OK, so…I’m left with knowing that you and I need compassion; and that God never runs out of that compassion; and knowing that God uses you and me to relate that compassion to others …what is the application for us?  Perhaps it involves being in someone’s pain with them and ‘being all there.’  God uses theory and practice, but God uses ME and God uses YOU!  God wants me to listen to Him on the spot – to be available, to be used, and to be ministered TO all at the same time.  I can do nothing on my own without His using me; however, “I can do ALL things through Him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)

Perhaps we need to respect the dignity of those who come through our doors or over our phone line for help, even those who may be difficult or may ‘push our buttons’.  We need to have a spirit of discernment – “wise as a serpent; gentle as a dove,” and to be non-judgmental.  We may not agree, but they are still in pain and in need of a ‘listener.’

Perhaps we must understand the importance of having a view from another’s eyes.  While a Mother’s Day may for some be a joyous occasion, there are others for whom it is extremely painful…those struggling with their singleness or their infertility…those who have lost a child …those who would love to be, but never will be, parents or grandparents.

And we must always remember that while our compassion has limits - God’s compassion never fails – He WILL help us be His instruments of compassion if we but ask Him.

 

 

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    “Compassion Beyond Measure” - Barb's Blog - Barb Roberts | Author, Helping Those Who Hurt | Speaker, Author, Counselor

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