I got in a car accident last week and totaled my pickup. I really loved that truck too, it was a great truck. I got a new truck and I really like the new one, but I didn’t write this post to talk about trucks. I want to talk about compassion, and how I have seen compassion. I found something extremely disturbing. This is a trend I have seen in church, in community and on blogs, and it’s really starting to disturb me. Compassion comes from the world in much greater supply than it does from God’s people.
When I have had bad things happen, the world that doesn’t know Jesus has shown support and sympathy. The people of God have been more prone to the attitude of “suck it up”. I am reminded often of Job’s friends, and people tell me how much I deserve any hard time I am going through. I have seen the church devour their wounded, cast judgement on the hurting in the world, and just generally show an attitude of heartlessness.
Jesus tells His disciples to love one another. In John 13:35, Jesus says: “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” If I will know a disciple by his love, then it makes me question if there are many disciples in the church. So often the church is ready to tell people how to live, tell the down and out to get a job and be responsible. They tell the hurting to suck it up and just have faith. They tell those who mourn that they need to get over it and tell the depressed that they are weak.
The most disturbing thing I am founding is the arrogance when confronted with our lack of compassion. I hear an echo of the Pharisees in the arrogance of those who are being cruel in one breath and justify it with the next. There are those who would attack me for this post, and give justification for cruelty, legalism, judgmental and prejudice. It disturbs me when I see “mature” believers, leaders, pastors, people in position of influence and they can’t show the least bit of compassion. They tell others that they don’t deserve compassion. Do any of us? Do any of us deserve God’s mercy?
There was a man with a huge debt to be paid who couldn’t pay it and the master released him and forgave the debt. You know this story, the man then was harsh, condemning a man who owed him a much smaller debt. We have been forgiven of so much, how can we condemn those who owe so little? I see so much hatred and condemnation coming from those who are suppose to be bringing peace and love, speaking words of life.
I saw so much compassion when I got in a car accident coming from strangers in the community. I saw people be generous who didn’t even know me. Would I have received the same level of compassion in your church? In your home? In this blog? I hope that I would, but the trend I am seeing may be demonstrating the opposite. I confess there has been time I have lacked compassion, I repent and I ask for the forgiveness of my Lord and Savior and from you. May love and compassion flow from my life as others have given it to me and as Jesus gave me.