Wednesday, July 8

An Imitation

I've been thinking a lot lately about compassion. I don't think I exercise my compassion muscles enough. I believe they've atrophied a bit.

I am someone who really wants things to be fair. Rules appeal to me and it bugs me when people are allowed to break the rules. I probably would have been a top-notch Pharisee--well, other than the little issue of my gender.

The problem comes when people break the rules. I tend to see whatever suffering they experience as a result being ... well, their own fault. I have trouble offering sympathy to, say, a neighbor who had several hundred dollars worth of stereo equipment stolen from an unlocked car. It's so much easier to offer a shoulder to cry on when something happens that no one could have prevented. If you take all the precautions, do everything you're supposed to do, yet still get the short end of the stick, I find it a lot easier to weep with you.

Seems to me, I'm not the only one who struggles with this. In fact, our society must encourage this sort of behavior. Why else would we be so averse to taking responsibility for our own failures? Why else would the largest section of the yellow pages be filled with attorneys? Someone must be to blame, and it sure shouldn't be me. Let me sue the other guy. He did this to me. Except ... that's not what I'm called to do.

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Ephesians 4:32-5:2, NIV

Somehow, that seems a much harder proposition. It would be a whole lot easier to just refer to the rule book and see what's what. But God expects me to love people and forgive them--even when they don't deserve it. Just 'cause He did that for me.

Oh. Yeah.


Anybody know a good circuit training routine for love, compassion, and forgiveness?


  1. Oh, Amy - I have no wisdom for you. If someone else does, please let me know. This is certainly something I've struggled with for a long time. One thing that has helped, was having my own bu!! handed to me on a plate - it showed me that while bad things do happen to bad people (and really, we're ALL bad people - that's why we need Jesus), ultimately, it's entirely out of our hands.

    I guess what else made it clear to me was my whole situation with Mary - I kept asking God, why her? She's just a little baby, so perfect. And I was reminded one night before her newborn surgery, that no, she absolutely is not perfect, or innocent. She's a sinner, just like me, and Charles Manson, if you will.

    None of us is undeserving of trials and tribulations (thanks, Eve). But God loves each of us, and chooses to forgive each of us. Even in all our disgustingly bad decision making glory. So, if God can forgive even the worst of us, I can at least try, right? Especially those I love.

    Hope this makes sense...

  2. I love this post. Found you on MDC and think I'm going to have to stalk your blog for a while :)


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