Welcome to the first Monday of March! I pray you had a great weekend and are ready to meet this week head-on. Join me for a few minutes, and grab some tea or coffee.
Compassion: “A feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.” (From Dictionary.com) In Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology, compassion is defined as: “That (human) disposition that fuels acts of kindness and mercy. Compassion, a form of love, is aroused within us when we are confronted with those who suffer or are vulnerable. Compassion often produces action to alleviate the suffering.”
Do you think of yourself as a compassionate person? When I read the definitions above, I can honestly say yes. I am often moved to tears by the pain I see in others. I help in any way I can. I mentioned in my last blog that I have many friends who I can look to for help and I give it back. Often, I feel helpless when I know someone I love is suffering in some way and wish there was more I could do.
However, when it comes to offering it to myself, I tend to fall short. I’ve known for a long time that I am my own worst enemy. Sadly, some of my relationships have capitalized on this trend, and I’ve allowed those to make me even harder on ‘me.’ I say things to myself that I would never think of saying to anyone else. This effect ties in with my need of perfectionism and need to appear as ‘having it all together.’
In Mark 12:30, 31 it says,” Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” In her book “Give Yourself a Break”, author Kim Fredrickson says this: “Extending kindness to ourselves means we see ourselves as human beings who are wonderfully made by God and valuable, yet who are imperfect and make mistakes. This plays out in the way we view ourselves, speak to ourselves, listen to ourselves, care for ourselves and respond to ourselves when we make mistakes.”
This new way of understanding brings a sense of relief. Kim Fredrickson puts it this way: “Grace is compassion towards yourself with kindness and gentleness.”
Until next week, be blessed,