My one big thing of 2017 was cultivating compassion. I had to learn what it was, and how to do it, and it involved a lot of studying. On top of God tenderizing my hard heart, this is what penetrated my thick skull and left an imprint.
Jesus, Compassion, and Me
To feel compassion, I have to think of others more and me less. To actually feel for others I have to get out of my head and actually see them. Jesus saw people and had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd (Matthew 9:36).
That touched people. He was full of pity, sensitive with sympathy for the vague soul hunger and physical suffering around him. He loves and sees the actual potential worth of others and loves them.
Everyone suffers in this fallen world. Sometimes it is their fault, and at other times it’s not. The Garden of Eden shows us what God intended, and the promise of the new Earth lets us know that it won’t stay this way.
If I want to model Jesus, I have to notice people. Immanuel means “God with us”. Because Christians are indwelled by the Holy Spirit, when we sit and empathize with someone God is there sitting with them also.
I learned to act wisely towards others (still a work in progress), making the most of every opportunity. My words should be full of unmerited favor and truth so that I know how to answer everyone.
An important thing I learned was how to compassionately confront. It’s humbly telling someone no while recognizing the evil in my own heart when I confront evil.
Jesus was best known for his eyes of compassion. When he saw broken people he knew this was not how it’s supposed to be. A by-product of Satan’s machinations in the Garden of Eden. Now he’s trying to call humanity back to him because grace isn’t fair, it’s generous.