Compassion and Forgiveness

This brief look at compassion and forgiveness is critical to our relationships and learning to walk in Christ. This is only the first of many studies in compassion and forgiveness as we walk through fields of Grace together.

Shame and hurt; shock and regret; remorse and denial; suffering and pain, are common experiences of life. We all have the same human nature differently, and sooner or later every single one of us will cause or experience these unfortunate circumstances. How we cope can be a matter just as devastating. Therefore we must remember to turn to God’s Word for help in time of need.

Compassion, defined in two words: “Jesus wept” (John 11:35). “Jesus wept” says it all. Jesus in true humanity was so compassionate (Matthew 9:36; 14:14; 15:32; 20:34; 23:37; Mark 1:41; 7:13). Recognize this: Jesus did whatever it took to propitiate the Father so that we could be forgiven, and it took the Cross of shame, suffering, and death. Jesus gave His Life just for us and we are not worth it. Why, would He do that? Compassion! (1 Peter 3:18).

Compassion is what life should be all about and this is the message of Jesus in Matthew 25:34-40. Compassion is a Divine Attribute. We can experience firsthand the Love of God which should cause us to be obedient; seek God; serve God; and share God. Compassion is selfless. Compassion is all about caring for and helping others; giving and loving; and sympathy and empathy. Compassion is all about forgiveness.

Objectivity must prevail if fences are to be mended.

Compassion is a common trait of humanity, but so is hate and intolerance. Graciousness and compassion are two of the Divine attributes of God and are expressed through God’s loving-kindness. God has a Grace-Plan for every believer (Acts 20:24). God’s Absolute Compassion for fallen humanity is demonstrated in its highest form by the Cross of Christ. When God could give no greater expression of His Love, God Gave His Son (John 3:15-18).  God IS LOVE. God the Father is full of mercy and compassion. God is perfectly pleased (because of Christ) to administer mercy and compassion to the lost sinner for salvation, and the saved for deliverance.

Pride and prejudice prevents reconciliation.

If a loved one has sinned against you, confront him/her in private and resolve the issue gently. Just remember, you have your skin issues too. We do not get even or jump to erroneous conclusions, instead we need to get close, as in face to face, and make our amends. We just need to be patient and tolerant and meditate long before we take any action. Retaliation in relationships is not acceptable. What would Christ do?

The expression of compassion is a natural manifestation of our priesthood as believers in Jesus Christ (Hebrews 11: Chapters 11-13). Compassion is a function of Christian integrity and the true test of our spiritual character. True compassion sometimes requires courage and forgiveness; therefore we need to be courageous, and truthful in our relationships.

God’s Love is the motivating factor in the believer and the measuring rod as we live God’s plan for each of our lives. God’s Love in us is manifested by the fruits of the spirit as we walk in fellowship guided by the Holy Spirit.

Bible Doctrine in our soul causes the believer to have empathy and compassion even for people who have caused us hurt or mental anguish. Bible doctrine gives us courage and objectivity to do the right thing and not become vengeful or intolerant.

Mature believer’s have a real passion for compassion. The Apostle Paul was mature, courageous, and compassionate. Paul, more than any other person in history exemplified compassion for Jews and Gentiles and an unquenchable passion to do the will and work of his Savior. The compassion of the believers in Asia Minor for their beloved Paul is illustrated so sweetly and is a must read. Please reference Acts 20:17-39.

As believer’s we must learn to look at ourselves objectively. Each of us struggles with our own arrogance … our own depravity. Facing up to our depravity; admitting our depravity is and must be a constant examination and challenge so that we are constant in our humility. Please read this last statement a second time.

Humility is the key that opens life-doors for God’s service. Want to be a great believer? Be objective about your own spirituality. Be objective about your depravity. Be honest with yourself about yourself. True humility recognizes arrogance, therefore, to be a person of genuine humility … keep looking at your sin nature with objectivity. Every day you must beware of your flesh … sin is in the flesh (Romans 7:18, 25; 8:8, 13; Galatians 5:17; 6:8; 1 John 2:6).

Compassion is an aspect of humility. Compassion is an expression of orientation to the Grace of God. Arrogance is self-centered and self-righteous and is in direct contrast to humility. Humility and compassion causes us to be sensitive of the needs of others. Have you ever realized that compassion for those who are ill, suffering, or distressed, can cause healing in one form or another? Compassion gives people relief and hope (Deuteronomy 32:36; Psalms 103:1-4; Hebrew 5:2; 1 Peter 3:8).

The Lord is compassionate towards those who respect Him and mindful that we are dust (Psalms 103:13, 14). To respect the Lord you must be bible doctrine-oriented, for Bible Doctrine is the “Mind of Christ.” Please reference 1 Corinthians 2: 6-16; Psalms 119:77.

Isaiah 55:6 and 7 are beautiful verses because they express God’s Compassion and God’s Pardon for repenting believers. God, throughout the Old Testament was (is) always faithful … calling to the people of Israel to come back to Him and stop worshiping idols and stop deliberately disobeying Him. God always initiates toward man! God is the Aggressor toward man! Man’s soul is designed to respond to God … this is repentance in its truest meaning … start believing in Me again is what God constantly shouts with His still small voice. Be assured of this: God sends thunder across the sky and rain falls to water the earth. God also sends clouds of judgment to bring us back to Him.

In closing, please take a moment and read James 2:15-18. Then, flip a few pages and read James chapters 4 & 5. Now, please turn to the book of God’s Love — the Book of John, the fourth Gospel. Please read it over and over again, and every time you read it God will cause you to see His compassion. God is the Great Giver. Man is a getter! Man is arrogant and the undeserving receiver of God’s giving.  God gave His Son for you, personally. Christ died in your place … on your cross … just for you.

Why would God do this? Because God is Love and because God is Justice. The Righteousness of God found a way to satisfy the Justice of God and that satisfaction came from the crucifixion death of Jesus Christ in your place. Only God could save you and me … and He did. If you will accept Him as your Savior right now, He will come into your heart as the Lord and Father of your life (John 1:12).

Understand this: “while we were yet sinners Christ died for the ungodly (Romans 5:8). This is the kind of compassion that God wants each of us to experience for ourselves: His compassion. His Son (John 3: 15-18, 36).

“Spiritual compassion is not measured by exposing, slandering, or gossiping about how you were transgressed. Sin issues happen because we are human. Many are not pre-mediated. Many cause harm and confusion, hurt and shame. What would Christ do? Have you ever just asked forgiveness even if you are not in the wrong? We must learn to genuinely forgive each other and move on from the hurt. We must stand together; better yet, we must bend our knees together. Do not let the sun go down on unresolved differences or issues (Ephesians 4:26). True forgiveness can be very difficult, but if we give it to the Holy Spirit and pray without ceasing, God will quiet our soul and give us peace.

Pride goes before a fall ; pride and prejudice injures us all.

Happy Studying!

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