…put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Compassion and Forgiveness
A mother took her youngest daughter to the doctor for a check-up and some shots. She also had to take along her two older daughters, both of whom were under the age of 7. She expected to have the hardest time with her youngest, since she was the one getting the shots. As it turned out, her two older daughters cried more than the youngest, who barely cried at all. Why did the older two cry more? Because they didn’t want their little sister to be in pain. They hurt at the thought of their sister hurting. That is what compassion is: to be so concerned for someone that when they hurt you hurt.
Compassion is something God wants us to have for others. He calls upon us to put ourselves in the place of other people, to be so concerned for each other that our hearts hurt when we see the hurt of others. Maybe you’ve had compassion for people in heartbreaking situations. But what about those who do wrong to you, who hurt you? For sinners like us, anger and a desire for vengeance flow forth much more easily than compassion does.
In contrast, there is the example of the widow of an Egyptian Christian who was killed while worshipping at church this past Palm Sunday. She said that she forgives the attackers. If you watch the video of an interview she gave on Egyptian TV, you’ll see that she genuinely did not harbor any ill will. Instead, in the very people who had taken the life of her husband she saw a desperate need for forgiveness and salvation.
Where does that come from? Where do you get that kind of compassion? You get it from the King of Compassion, Jesus. God saw our sinful and lost condition and his heart hurt for us. He not only felt for us, in the person of Jesus Christ, God became one of us. God’s concern for us and our souls drove him to bear our sins on the cross. In the ultimate act of compassion, the sinless Son of God gave his precious life to save us, the sinful. Through faith in Jesus, God forgives our sin and gives us life everlasting.
Now having poured his love into our hearts, God tells us to pour out that love for others. God was kind to us. So be kind to others. God showed compassion to us and for us. Now show compassion for others. In Jesus, God forgives us. Now go and forgive others.
Lord Jesus, what compassion you have shown to me in dying on the cross to pay for all my sin! Help me to reflect the same kindness, compassion and forgiveness to others which you have given to me. Amen.
Source: WELS Devotions