Saturday, March 2, 2024

Compassion Towards Others

By: Grace Metzger

 Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts,
kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another 
Colossians 3:12-13

Compassion is something that everyone thinks they have. If you asked me if I was a compassionate person a couple of weeks ago, I would not have hesitated in saying, "Of course!" However, I recently discovered that it not true for me, and I think it's safe to bet a lot of others as well. The story of how I discovered my lack of compassion starts with an older couple walking into my work about thirty minutes before we were to close. As soon as I saw them walked, in I inwardly groaned and instantly went onto teams to complain to my coworkers, because I knew from experience that when them came in, it was usually an hour to two hour process of explaining the same thing over and over again. When I first met them I knew they were older and didn't mind taking the time to explain this concept that was difficult for them to understand, but as time when on I lost my compassion for them and started viewing our interactions as bothersome.

I know that this is something other people struggle with as well. Everyone has that one coworker who, despite you telling them how to do something twenty times, they still do it wrong; a siblings who just can't seem to make the right choices; that one person in front of you in a line taking ten minutes to order; those people walking so slow in front of you you start to wonder if they are purposely walking a snail speed. We encounter these type of frustrating situations with others on the daily. 

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

God calls us to deal with these situations with a kind, tender heart. He didn't call us to deal with it in anger or frustration, that is our human flesh allowing our negative emotions to get the best of us. We are called to be compassionate! You might be wondering what the big deal is, everyone acts like this. I think back to the saying you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. We are supposed to be leading people to Christ but how we can lead people when our words and actions are like vinegar? Who would want to listen to someone who is acting rude, angry, or impatient to them?

The Lord is gracious and righteous;
 our God is full of compassion.
Psalm 116:5

I think back to how the world has treated God. How we have used His name in vain, cursed Him, doubted His existence, and yet God is still full of compassion for us. If He can be compassionate to us after we treated Him so horribly, then why can't I be compassionate to that mature couple who just need some extra help? What would happen if we start treating everyone we come into contact with, with kindness, compassion, and a tender heart? How many people will we lead to God if we started treating them like God treats us?

Humans are known for allowing their emotions to take over them, for speaking without thinking, for acting out in frustration. But as Christ followers we are to be different than everyone. We aren't supposed to act like that, we are called to be slow to speak, kind in our words, and treat others with compassion. So before you start getting frustrated at that person who is taking forever in the Chick-Fil-A drive through, take a breath and think "How would God treat me in this situation? Would He become frustrated and angry with me or would He continue to be kind and compassionate?" Once you start thinking this before acting out in angry you life will take a positive turn!

Discussion Questions!

1.) When you do feel like you start to lose patience with others?

2.) What do you do to remain kind to someone who's getting on your nerve?

3.) Do you remember a time when someone showed compassion to you while you show frustration towards them?

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