Clothing Ourselves with Compassion

Scripture: Colossians :1-17

In an interview, Brene Brown talks about compassion in this context: if someone has hurt you, what if that is the best they can do? What if it is really all they can do? The key to compassion and generosity rests in our choice to assume the best about people, regardless of how they have hurt or wronged us.

Colossians talks about “clothing ourselves” with compassion. The rabbis in the old traditions clothed themselves in layer upon layer, each with a significance, a symbolism. We as Christians clothe our souls, not only our body. The first soul layer that we need to put on, the layer closest to our skin, to our spirit, is compassion.

Compassion –> passion: “deep emotional feeling”, com/con: “with”. Compassion is “feeling with someone”. We also call that empathy.

Jesus saw the people who followed Him, who heard and listened to Him, who devoured his message like starving people, and He saw them as “sheep without a shepherd” and he felt compassion for them.

It shouldn’t surprise us that there are people in this world who do not love better, because they have not been shown love or how to love well. How could they possibly do better?

How do we deal with how we have been wronged? By understanding that sometimes people just cannot do any better. Think about Christ on His way to the cross. People were shouting at Him, hitting Him, throwing stones, beating Him, murdering Him. What does He say to God the Father? “Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they are doing.” They don’t know any better.

In response to wrong, we should love others as well as love ourselves. Get to know people as well as we know ourselves. “Justice” is when we get what we deserve.  However, we do not know what people deserve. We are not called to give justice. We are called to give love, compassion.

“Justice” is when we get what we deserve.  However, we do not know what people deserve. We are not called to give justice. We are called to give love and compassion, even to those who have wronged us. Especially to those who have wronged us.

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