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Compassion

July 22, 2013

Today I am happy to welcome another guest writer. About a month ago, a friend of mine wrote a post for Anafalz. Through that post, I have gotten to know her sister Charity Hall, who is a fellow blogger. She has an incredible heart for God and is passionate to share that love with others. I encourage you check out her blog, http://www.isleofviewblog.com/. Today, we swapped blogs – I am posted on hers and she on mine! We both felt this would be a wonderful experience for our readers. Her bio is at the end of the post. So, enough of me: enjoy what Charity has to share with you today!

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“Everyone needs compassion, love that’s never failing, let mercy fall on me … Savior, He can move the mountains, My God is mighty to save, He is mighty to save.” Mighty to Save x  Reuben Morgan

 Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me (NASB).” Matthew 25:40, NASB

 This song is one of the most often sung songs in the world at the moment, according to an article in Relevant magazine. What is striking about the song is the contrast of the verse words of compassion, love, mercy and forgiveness with words within the chorus: mighty, conquering, mountains. We see the contrast of certain passive or ‘soft’ words with those that are more aggressive in nature.

I recently read an article by Emma Seppala, a leading scientist on compassion and how it translates into our daily and social lives. It was titled Are Women Really More Compassionate? which obviously snagged my attention. She went on to describe the stereotypes which we all are raised with and then the realities of science and studies of compassion. While I do suggest you read the whole article, her statement on the question can be boiled down in the following quote: “Rather than suggesting…women are more compassionate than men, I would argue that they would simply have altered the expression of compassion. While women’s expression involved nurturing and bonding, men’s compassion was expressed through protecting and ensuring survival. Compassion just took on a different “look and feel” depending on our evolutionary needs for survival…Think of a mother who yells and roughly pulls her child away from oncoming traffic (fierce compassion) or military service-members who hold each other in grief after the loss of a friend (nurturing compassion). Love, compassion, kindness are natural to all of us in their varied forms of expression. Rather than asking whether men or women are kinder or compassionate, the question should rather be: What are the myriad beautiful forms in which compassion expresses itself?”

Her last statement is what snagged my attention in looking at compassion from a Christian, or rather a Biblical perspective. As Christians, we often get trapped in the above expressions of male and female compassion and also the stereotypical thought patterns as well. But since Christian means Christ-like how did Christ behave that we could look at the “myriad beautiful forms in which compassion expresses itself?” The greatest example is the one that is mentioned in the worship song Mighty to Save, that of Jesus dying on the cross, rising again and being the ultimate sacrifice for sins he did not commit. Compassion? Absolutely. Nurturing compassion? Not quite. Fierce compassion? Yes, absolutely. Where do we see him exemplifying nurturing compassion? I believe we see it multiple times, but specifically in the case of Lazarus’ death, in John 11, and also in the case of the washing of his feet by the woman in Luke 7. In both cases, we see His compassion compelling him to action.

One of the places in Scripture where we are directed by the Lord to act in compassion is in the parable found in Matthew 25:31-45. Specifically, verse 40 says “Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me (NASB).” We’ve always looked at WWJD as a cliché, but it really is accurate when it comes to our daily lives as Christians, male or female. If we truly believe we are created in the image of God, we are directed to also mirror that image and offer Christ-like compassion. How do we offer or practice compassion without compromising our values and principles within our biblical beliefs? It’s a complicated question, and one that I don’t fully have the answer to, but we see Jesus in one specific response to all: LOVE. He offered unconditional love and open arms to all who came to Him. I think we can do no less. I’m not called to accept a particular lifestyle or even condone it, but if I can love you to Christ, I know He is able to do the rest. And compassion, defined as true heart-felt sympathy and sorrow for another in misfortune accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering, is something we as Christians cannot afford to ignore.

Mighty to Save has the following tag that is repeated at the end of the song “Shine your light and let the whole world see, We’re singing for the glory Of the risen King…” Let’s shine our light and let the whole world see our ability to offer full compassion, fierce and nurturing, that they might see our glorious King!

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Love God, Love People, Love Photography: Charity Hall is a jane-of-all-trades with a passion for many things, Christ and His kingdom foremost. She is a recent graduate (’13) of Liberty University with her MA in Human Services, Executive Leadership. Her undergrad work is in Business (BS, Accounting CSUEB ’10) and Music (BA, Music & Worship Leadership Patten Univ. ’11). She is passionate about ethics and how financial stability can help to build strong churches which in turn build strong families. She is eager to share her knowledge and passion with the world in ways that will make a tangible difference. Her blog is a small way of sharing her passions and daily musings with the world. She is a native of the San Francisco Bay Area and die-hard NorCal lover.

Charity is most active on Instagram @isleofview and her blog Isle of View.

 

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