It Starts With Compassion
Saturday, January 21, 2017

What does it mean to walk in love?  To have compassion for others?  Jesus calls on us to love one another (John 15:17).  What does that really look like?

A well-known passage about love is found in the book of 1st Corinthians.  It says,

Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love is not proud.  To walk in love means to cultivate an attitude of humility.  Love is patient, willing to set aside its own agenda to listen to, regard, and bear the weakness of others.  To walk in love means to always treat others with kindness.  Love is not self-seeking; it means placing the welfare of others ahead of our own.  To walk in love means to protect others, and not to harm them, as it says in Romans 13:10, “Love does no harm to a neighbor.”

We tend to live in a “me first” culture, which only leads to all manner of strife and division.  But living in love is all about putting the welfare of others ahead of our own.  When Jesus' disciples were arguing about who was the greatest, Jesus told them, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” (Mark 9:35)  Consider the exhortation of the Apostle Paul:

Do not act out of selfish ambition or conceit, but with humility think of others as being better than yourselves.  Do not be concerned only about your own interests, but also be concerned about the interests of others.

We are called upon by God to love one another, and to have compassion for others, as God Himself is compassionate, particularly toward those who are poor and needy.  May we learn to have compassion also for the youngest and most vulnerable among us.  And may we, leading by example, help to foster a culture in which people genuinely care about the welfare of others.

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"Because he loves Me," says the Lord, "I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges My name.
He will call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him."
— Psalm 91:14-15
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