Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Compassion or Condemnation?

"Compassion will cure more sins than condemnation." (Henry Ward Beecher) Most of us need more doses of compassion and far less doses of condemnation! One of the things I used to tell my kids is that the world would find ample opportunity to poke fun at them, finding fault with what they did or what they wore, but within the walls of the home in which they lived, we wanted to do less fault finding and far more accepting. Why? Simply because I knew the 'condemnation' moments would outweigh the 'compassion' moments in this lifetime.

Jehovah is kind and merciful, slow to get angry, full of love. He is good to everyone, and his compassion is intertwined with everything he does. (Psalm 145:8-9 TLB)

Compassion is a "God-word". It involves that deep-seated desire to alleviate the suffering and pain of others, even if it costs you everything. Seldom are we truly encountered by such a great desire here on this earth in those we associate with. God isn't moved by sympathy, but by compassion. He sees great need before him, often knowing others heap piles and piles of condemnation upon us in measures disproportionate to what is deserved. He also knows our tendency to heap even more condemnation upon that pile ourselves!

In this lifetime, those 'condemnation moments' come more regularly than we'd like, but remember this...God's 'compassion moments' are innumerable and are always available to us. To the harshness of this world God speaks kindness to us. To the indifference of those who turn a deaf ear and blind eye to sin around them, God speaks attentive tenderness and consideration. He isn't immune to our cries for mercy anymore than he is blind to our constant hurt because of all the condemnation coming our way daily. 

Before we condemn one another, let us remember that there but for the grace of God we walk ourselves. It is because of his grace we live above condemnation - in compassionate fellowship with him daily. It is because of his kindness toward us that we know the peace of God in the midst of turmoil that would otherwise destroy us. Think about how much words cut, glances in our direction cause us doubt, or silence speaks more than words ever could. Now think about how much grace counters each of these. Which would you rather speak into someone's life today? Condemnation or compassion? I hope it is the latter. Just sayin!