Thursday, November 19, 2015

Compassion for Each Other

Compassion. It's a beautiful word. And a more beautiful idea. Until we start fighting over the right way, the only way, even the Jesus way to show compassion.

With the confluence of the Syrian refugee crisis, the Islamist terrorist attacks in Paris and other cities, and the ever-present U.S. presidential race, my Facebook and Twitter feeds have been filled with people's comments, shares, opinions, diatribes, and judgments on what our response as Christians should be. 

Some offer this information with humble spirits, and respect that other Jesus-loving people might read the same verses in the same Bible and come to very different conclusions as to how to live out compassion. I am grateful for these, even when my own conclusions differ from theirs.

Others appear to question the love, faith, and motives of any who disagree with them. This makes me sad, because as Christians we should seek to unite, to inspire, and to love even other Christians with whom we disagree! We are family, not enemies, yet I sometimes see more respect, compassion, and love for those not yet in the family of Jesus-followers than for those who are but who have different opinions.

Jesus did say to love the homeless, the hungry, and the foreigner. And He said to love our enemies. But He also told us to love each other. We need to do both of these well if we want the world to see that He is the life-changing Savior we know him to be. We need to help encourage each other in love as we navigate what is wise and compassionate. Jesus said that the world would know that we are His and that He is the Son of God by our love for each other in John 17.  I want my interactions with other believers, especially those who have different convictions, to be steeped in love. I want the watching world to see that the Jesus in both of us is bigger than our disagreements. I want them to see love and respect and compassion for my fellow believers as well as for those who do not share my faith. 


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