Monday, May 08, 2006

1 Peter 3:8-9

Okay, I bet y’all thought you were getting off easy this week, didn’t you?

I have a confession to make. I’ve made it in small group before, but it bears repeating. I am still working on having compassion. Understanding, compassion, lovingkindness, tender mercy, the whole nine yards; I am struggling with it.

Truth be told, there are a lot of us who struggle with it, aren’t there?

I don’t mean compassion on a homeless person by giving them money or buying them a meal. I don’t mean compassion by giving up a weekend or a day to help someone less fortunate or to do a church project.

I mean compassion on those who REALLY, REALLY matter. Compassion and love for each other, as fellow Christian brothers and sisters. We have lost our compassion for one another, and it’s evident if you look around.

You can say what you want, but we have a hard time being compassionate to a fellow Christian who has done a wrong to us. We have a hard time loving that “weird person who sits on that side of the church”. I have a hard time with compassion. Mine is an extension of what I expect from myself.

I feel like if I set high standards for myself, that I should expect those same standards from others. If it’s good enough for me, it’s good enough for everyone.

That’s not good enough though, is it?

I wish I could convey through this how much this really affects me. It really bothers me. I feel like I am missing something important in my life, because I have set my goals so high.

I wrote in my journal one day last week that I was learning Bible verses for the sake of learning. I wasn’t contemplating or gaining wisdom, I was acquiring knowledge. Remember, that’s NOT the same animal.

I need God’s help with this. Everyone will chime in with their own cure or treatment on this. But, the fact of the matter is, if we don’t allow God to encourage a spirit of love and compassion in us, nothing else will.

I think I have come a long way with this, because I have enough in me to know that I have the issue in the first place. Too many times we get down on ourselves because we have a thought or a passion or lust that tries to sneak up on us. I think it’s cool, because there was a time when that thing DIDN’T bother me to think of it. I wasn’t concerned about how I felt about those around me.

1 Peter 3:8-9- “Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.”

I’m learning. I’m not perfect. I’m being perfected. Where are you at? How is your walk progressing? I realize that it’s easier to extract revenge than to bless a brother or sister, but the road less traveled is the one we are commanded to go down.

Let’s take a walk with Jesus. He is our example.

Be blessed in the Lord.

Bo J.

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