August 16, 2010

Kindness and Compassion

Written by Wisdom Hunters

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- August 16, 2010

“Be kind and compassionate to one another.” Ephesians 4:32a

Kindness and compassion are compelling commercials for Christians. When the misguided see manners from those who follow their Master Jesus, they are drawn to faith. So in the pressures of life, we who know the Lord—know better—we behave well. We are called to return courtesy when cursed and to stay cool when conversations heat up.

When slapped in the face by someone’s disrespectful attitude, kind Christians “turn the other cheek” and offer respect. The disrespectful are disarmed by respect. There is no need to lower ourselves to the immature shenanigans of those spurred on by self-image control instead of Christ’s control. What insecure person needs a kind word from you?

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you” (Colossians 3:12-13). Kindness is slow to anger and quick to forgive.

Do you have a colleague at work who is in need of compassion? Have you looked beyond their complaining to the hurt harboring in their heart? Perhaps you take them to lunch and learn more about their story. Fill in the blanks of what’s behind their bad behavior. An absent father? A smothering mother? Abused? Rejected? Unloved? Angry at God?

Compassion takes the time to care without compromising excellence in what’s expected at work. And if we drive others just to get results, we miss the riches of relational development. Everyone has a story that needs understanding and acceptance. Everyone needs compassion, as this puts a face on Jesus and the forgiveness that comes from Him.

“I will tell of the kindnesses of the LORD, the deeds for which he is to be praised, according to all the LORD has done for us— yes, the many good things he has done for the house of Israel, according to his compassion and many kindnesses” (Isaiah 63:7).

Because of the Lord’s many kindnesses we have experienced and His rich compassion shown in our life, we are capable to represent Him well when we engage the world. It’s an overflow of Christ’s compassion for you that encourages others in your daily communications. It’s the kindness of Jesus exhibited in your actions that draws others to Jesus. Indeed, clothe yourself daily as a kind and compassionate agent of Almighty God.

Jesus modeled kindness when He replaced condemnation with compassion toward the woman caught in adultery, “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin” (John 8:11). Christ followers are known by their compassion.

Who needs an ongoing act of kindness or a compassionate conversation from me?

Related Readings: 2 Samuel 9:1-7; Isaiah 54:8; Mark 6:34; Acts 4:9; Romans 11:22

Boyd Bailey is the author of Wisdom Hunters daily devotional and two devotional books, Infusion and Seeking Daily the Heart of God

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