Need More Compassion?

Focused Devotion - Lacking Compassion

Luke 10:25-37

Thoughts –

In this reading, an expert in the law was trying to trip Jesus up with the question of …

What must we do to inherit eternal life?*

Jesus asked him what the law says, and the man quoted, …

We are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, strength and mind and love your neighbor as yourself.*

Jesus went on to tell the parable of the “Good Samaritan” to illustrate the kind of sacrificial and dedicated love a “neighbor” has. He purposefully chose to juxtapose the character of the Samaritan {who the Jewish leaders would have immediately looked down upon} against two other characters who would’ve been considered of spiritual and social superiority.

Jesus’ story begins with the two “spiritual giants” each passing consecutively by a wounded man who was beaten and on side of the road. Ironically, these “spiritual giants” were the ones who saw the wounded man, but showed no compassion.

The lowly Samaritan who came by after them showed compassion and moreproviding for the wounded man’s needs until he was back on his feet, without any expectation of being rewarded or repaid.

Being a “neighbor” always involves giving and great sacrifice.

Being a neighbor begins when we allow our hearts to be moved to compassion.

We do not and will not feel compassion when we are focused on ourselves and our own pain or agenda.

 

My Reflection –

I {Beth} don’t have the kind of compassion that’s necessary to reach out and sacrifice like this man did. I’m convicted by memories of when my actions mirrored the two who passed by rather than the Samaritan’s. It grieves me to admit that I’ve often been more like the “spiritual giants” who believed they had more pressing needs to attend to, than to reach out or give as a need arose around them. For the most part, I don’t let God interrupt my schedule or my “sacred” rituals. I want and desperately need to look to Christ to arouse compassion in my heart for those who interrupt and require much even if only for the moment in my life.

Bottom line for all of us …

It’s easy to put our spouses as  last on our long list of “to-do’s” and I’ll get around to him/her someday! We can become more concerned with the way our spouse has offended us, feeling justified in withholding compassion. When we do this for any length of time, our hearts become hardened like the first two dis-compassionate men in this story. One of the first steps to reignite compassion toward our spouse {or others} who might offend, is to take our eyes off our hurts and recognize the wounds of those God puts in our path. Christ’s compassion will come rushing into our hearts when we do!

 

What reasons excuses do you have for not showing compassion to your spouse or others who interrupt your routine?

 

What blessings are we missing out on {like compassion} when we ignore God’s opportunities?

 

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Focused Devotion will be a recurring blog post where I’ll share the thoughts I’ve written down during my time with God. These posts are randomly chosen and not in any particular order. Also, I will not be working specifically through any topic or book of the Bible. However, right now I’ve been reading in Job, Isaiah and Luke and sharing from one of those places. I may or may not continue this, but it will be something of a “staple” during my radiation treatment. Thanks so much!

*My paraphrasing of the verse(s) and am not quoting the reference word for word.

 

Linking up with – Marriage MondaysMaking Your Home Sing Monday, Living Proverbs 31, Monday’s Musings, and Playdates with God

 

  • bluecottonmemory

    Oh – yes, – Beth, -take your eyes off the hurts – get over it – and just choose love. Easier said than done but when I ask God – how He turns it all around. Some of the spiritual gifts(personalties) have to learn to be more intentionally compassionate – but some of the more compassionate have to be learn to hold back and set healthy boundaries. I am learning to be more compassionate helping a compassion child be more discerning! So need God in it! Wishing you blessing, comfort and refreshing this week Beth!

    • That’s so true and insightful, Maryleigh. I do think some personalities struggle with compassion and others with holding their ground. I’ve struggled with both at times in my life, but recently my focus was on the lack of compassion. Thanks for adding your thoughts to the discussion. It has encouraged me!

  • Beth …. I love how you put this on the table. For if the shoe was on the other foot, who’d want to be looked at as just one more item on a to-do list. Thanks for sharing your personal reflections. I am learning much from you in this season …

    • Putting this on the table reminds me of “the table” I have to lay on each day. 🙂 I suppose there’s some vulnerability in both places–bringing healing with each exposure. And yes, it’s so easy to let the first person we need to show compassion to (our spouses) become the last person we offer it up to. I just wanted to keep that challenge before those of us married folk. Hugs to you!

  • Your title got me, Beth. 🙂 Because, yes, as a matter of fact I do need more compassion and I’m spending this year specifically on this.

    And herein is part of my biggest struggle with it:
    “We do not and will not feel compassion when we are focused on ourselves and our own pain or agenda.”
    Ouch. But seeing the problem is the first step in letting God help us with it, so thank you, friend.

    • It doesn’t surprise me that your interest was piqued when I introduced this topic. It’s something you teach me about weekly, dear Lisa. You are so strong in this area and the fact that you see it as an area of growth tells me you have a tender heart to boot!

  • Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    I learned something about compassion from a dog, and I never forgot the lesson.

    About twenty years ago, I went to a local shelter and adopted two young dogs. As I was picking them up, I saw an old retriever in a nearby run. He looked at me with a calm, hopeless expression. He knew.

    I thought of taking him, too. But I didn’t, and I’m pretty sure that because of his age, no one did. I wonder what disaster brought him there, and what memories that whitening head contained.

    And how long a loyal heart would take to break.

    This has haunted me since. It’s been my touchstone for trying to show compassion and mercy wherever and whenever I can.

    I fail often, but when I do, I know it, and this old, doomed fellow visits me in the night to let me know.

    Mercy and compassion are everything. All the vacays, all the bling, all the toys, all the stature and worldly respect are nothing.

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/

    • Oh yes, those little innocent eyes that hold no guile really can tug at our heartstrings–stirring compassion that we didn’t know we had, Andrew. I could picture this encounter you had in my mind’s eye and can see why it would stay with you even to this day. And yes, all the “stuff” of life truly is a dead end. Compassion brings us back to life. Thanks for stopping by, my friend!

  • Emily Davis

    I will admit that being compassionate sometimes can cause hurt in today’s society. But I really should be more compassionate towards my husband. Bless him. He’s so loyal and wonderful… Sigh. I’m a work in progress.
    I excel in compassion outside my home. It seems I need more compassion in my home. I’m adding it to my prayer list. I’m almost scared to read anyone else’s blog posts today. it seems I need a lot more correcting than I thought I did. HA
    Blessings,
    Emily

  • Why is it true that we take the ones we love the most for granted the most? This is a convicting post, Beth, and you have me committing my heart to take some action in this regard.

  • Marie Steinhardt

    Love this reminder, Beth. Compassion is something I struggle with, especially in my marriage. I tend to be quite compassionate toward my girlfriends and children, but my poor husband gets very little. He is so strong and responsible, but I’m sure he would truly blossom if I would be more compassionate And supportive. Something I will be working on with God’s help!