Compassion. Today we’re opening our hearts to it and inviting ourselves to live a life full of it. I’d say there’s no better time to do this than now.
compassion :: sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it (merriam-webster.com); empathy, grace, kindness, tenderness, mercy (thesaurus.com)
The last few days we’ve touched on some important life circumstances pertaining to the Christmas season. (You can catch up here.) Subjects of when the holidays are hard and what do we do with our grief over the loss of a loved one at Christmastime have sparked much conversation. We’ve opened up our hearts as we’ve encouraged one another. We’ve spurred each other on in hope.
One thing we’ve come to realize is this…
People are hurting for a number of reasons, especially during the holidays.
It’s possible you are one of these people. I pray you’ve been encouraged through the last few posts and strengthened by God’s love. I hope you continue on the road to healing and wholeness this season.
A long time ago I learned an important truth: hurting people hurt people. When someone hurts he or she may act out of that hurt and behave in ways he/she normally wouldn’t.
The grieving spouse might yell at her children.
The sad neighbor might turn mean.
That co-worker who drives you crazy might be the one to have buried her hurt for years.
The man freshly laid off of work might be the one who cut you off in traffic.
When people take their hurt out on us, our first reaction may be to lash back. But instead of doing so, what if we chose to respond with compassion?
What if we chose to make compassion a way of life this season?
What if we saw others’ weary and hurting souls? Trying to survive in this heavy world. Who don’t have an outlet for their pain? Who just maybe could use a little compassion from you and me?
No, the hurt doesn’t excuse the behavior, but might it might help us to understand.
Compassion may be the best gift we give this Christmas.
I recently ran across a scripture that caused me to ponder. So much so, I’ve been attempting to live it out in my daily life this Christmas season. It’s all about how I treat and react to others. Here is Ephesians 4:2 in a number of translations:
Always be humble and gentle. Patiently put up with each other and love each other. CEV
Be always humble, gentle, and patient. Show your love by being tolerant with one another. GNT
Be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. TLB
Could being humble and gentle make a difference? If we patiently put up with one another and loved each other, would that cause this Christmas to be a bit more merry for us and for others? I believe it would.
If we treated others with compassion and reacted to them with humbleness, gentleness, patience, and love, maybe their hurts would begin to heal. And, maybe ours would too.
If we chose to live out Ephesians 4:2, I believe we would shine God’s light in this season and beyond, into the new year.
Let’s be the change we want to see this season. Let’s live a life of compassion in the days ahead.
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