Page 3 - Compassion - August 2018 - Truth & Tidings
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phrase, “bowels of mercies,” is used to de-  brethren” (1John 3:16, KJV). When he
          scribe the compassion required of believers   speaks of “laying down our lives,” it’s not
          for each other (Phil 2:1). What could this   the idea of a single act, like taking a bullet
          mean? “Bowels” does not sound like a very   for a fellow believer. Instead, try fitting the
          nice word to associate with love. But the   word “soul” in the verse. We ought to lay
          Scripture won’t fail us. This phrase is used   down our souls for the brethren. See the
          to describe care that comes from the most   difference? Laying down my soul, the real
          inward part of a person; it is our deepest   me, for someone is going to take some
          sympathies coming from the deepest of our   time, even if it does take my life one day.
          feelings to a heart in need. Compassion is a   For now, I might have to park my own con-
          visceral endeavor. We should love from the   venience or miss spending time with my
          inside out, even to the point of looking like   friends to help you. I might struggle with
          the compassion we feel. Put on, or wear   finding words to comfort. I might find just
          your bowels of mercies, kindness, humble-  listening works better than talking.
          ness of mind, meekness, and longsuffering   True, compassionate fellowship will
          (Col 3:12).                         take my time and my resources and give
             Truthfully, we all tend to prefer our   them to others, too. You may not have
          charity on a schedule, giving a few hours   money, but you might have lunch. You can
          early Saturday morning to feeding the   make a friend something they’d never buy.
          homeless, dropping our change in a box at   You likely won’t cure their cancer, but a ser-
          the checkout, or listening sympathetically   vice station gift card for that daily chemo
          to someone’s story over a muffin before   trip helps. But “whoso hath this world’s
          Sunday school. These are certainly good   good, and seeth his brother have need, and
          things, but they fall far short of Biblical   shutteth up his bowels of compassion from
          compassion. This may be because they are   him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?
          mostly about us and how we feel, or it may   My little children, let us not love in word,
          be because they expose the limits of how   neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth”
          much we’re willing to suffer with others.   (1John 3:17-18, KJV).
          But, if you’re willing to take up the chal-  Before we power up and head out to
          lenge of compassion, it’s not going to be a   meet the needs of our fellow Christians,
          flighty endeavor, or even one that fits your   let’s add one last look at the challenges of
          schedule.                           Philippians 2. “Look not every man on his
             In 1  John, God  teaches us  that   own things, but every man also on the
          Christian fellowship is firmly grounded in   things  of  others”  (Phil  2:4,  KJV).  This
          truth and love. These two things are the   seems fine when we assume that we’re look-
          keys, unlocking our true, full joy in God’s   ing out for others, but what about when
          assembly. As he writes of the love of God,   the camera focuses on us? We almost al-
          John the Apostle reminds us of that truth   ways push off help; our culture hates weak-
          we learned, that God won’t ask us to go to   ness. “No problem, I’m okay,” we say. But,
          depths where He, in Jesus Christ, hasn’t   that’s not what’s really going on inside.
          been. “Hereby perceive we the love of God,   Beloved, God has given you the best of
          because He laid down His life for us: and   friends in the believers. He’s led some of
          we ought to lay down our lives for the   them down deeper, darker paths than most

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