I wonder what impact the church would make in the world if we were know by the kindness we show others. God is so rich in mercy and kindness towards us that it is unthinkable that His followers wouldn’t be known for the same things…but we aren’t. As I mentioned previously, many Christians are known more for their anger and judgementalism than their kindness and compassion. Have you ever been the victim of someone else’s assumptions or judgements about you and they have no idea what you are going through?
I heard a story a long time ago about a man who was riding the subway and his kids were out of control running throughout the car. He got a lot of looks and finally a woman approached him and said what many of the riders were thinking…”You should be in more control of your children. What kind of dad are you?”.
The man’s reply was chilling. “I’m so sorry. My wife just died and I have no idea how to tell them their mother is gone.”
There are more hurting people around you than you can possibly imagine. Our privilege as followers of Jesus is to offer them healing and hope not more discouragement and hurt.
The truth is, our lives intersect others on a daily basis and we must choose how we are going to respond proactively. Having compassion means that we try to understand people and not just react to them. Do we take the time to assess what’s really going on or do we fire back with an immediate judgement. It is easier to love others when we take the time to see life from others’ eyes and giving grace and mercy to them.
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:12–14 (NIV)
Who do you need to show grace to today?
Truth: God is compassionate.
Question: In what ways do I try to see life from other people’s point of view and offer grace?