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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

A lesson in compassion you might not be expecting…

Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.
1 Peter 3:8-9(NIV)
Just this week, I challenged a group of online friends to share the ways they respond when people or things they say or do really piss them off. They offered a variety of wise answers; I am grateful for the company of people who challenge me to articulate my faith and consistently live my beliefs. They make me better.

I did not offer my answer there, but here it is. When I am offended, that offense has everything to do with me and nothing at all with the person who may have, intentionally or otherwise, committed it. I am learning compassion. 

My lesson is not a version of compassion I know, and likely not the one you are expecting. Compassion has been defined as “love in action.” According to one writer, “true compassion reaches out to all people.” When combined with empathy, or the ability to walk in someone else’s shoes, the result is acknowledging a shared human experience that includes grief, loss, fear, and heartache and modeling a way to respond to it that changes you, and may change the way the world responds to you. It is restorative. (Haggai, I remain eternally grateful to you for living in your purpose. #AmenSomebody)

I am changing the entire world, in 2 ways:
1. I behave differently.
2. The world responds to me differently because the same stimuli no longer garners the same response.

As if to confirm that I am walking my right path, a friend posted this on her FB timeline; it bubbled up in my newsfeed.

So, chosen by God for this new life of love,
dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you:
compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline.
Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense.
Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on,
wear love.
It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.”
Colossians 3:12-14 MSG

Compassion. According to the Word of God, it’s my “basic, all-purpose garment.” I’m going to pull out my pearls and some cute shoes, my big girl panties, and rock the look.

Thanks. TGBTG.

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