Radical Compassion

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Do you think you could send a 27 paragraph email to an acquaintance highlighting faults, indicating disapproval of behavior and judging decisions made by that person? Yes, you read correctly: 27 paragraphs.

I’m still doing the math in my head. 27 paragraphs. My friend who received such an email is a decent, caring, kind, thoughtful human being. Twenty seven paragraphs make no sense.

As my friend was sharing this with me, she mentioned that her husband recommended she be compassionate as she dealt with the litany of her perceived inadequacies and how she would treat the author. He stressed the word “compassion.” I shared an article I saved about “radical compassion” with my friend.

“ A friend taught me that we can achieve peace by changing our attitude when we find ourselves dealing with an unpleasant person. Rather than be annoyed, I should feel sorry for that person. This reoriented my outlook. The mindset, which I call radical compassion, does not require that we like the person, but it does enable us to maintain our own calm politeness and avoid the pitfalls of trying to force others to make changes they may resent.”

I am also going to share the following Bible verses with her.

Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Romans 15:1-2 We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.

1 Peter 3:8-12 Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. For “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

Colossians 3:12-14 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

Matthew 6:14-15 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Romans 12:18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

Matthew 7:3-5 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

Romans 12:17-21 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

There is so much hurt in this world; it’s so broken. Anytime I can step forward and be the better person, anytime I can bite my tongue, anytime I can deflect a hurt, anytime I can practice patience and humility; anytime I simply smile – this world is a better place.

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One person can make a difference.

In His Grip,

Jeanie Shank

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4 thoughts on “Radical Compassion

  1. Compassion, patience, humility – those are the very attributes I am studying in Stephen Ministry right now. I will print this blog and insert into my training manual, because you have given beautiful scripture to reference and lean on. Thank you Jeanie!

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