Blogging took the back seat the last several weeks due to a crazy Christmas season packed full of baking, entertaining, parties, giving, traveling, and just plain ‘ole relaxing. However, I was one of the crazy “bah-hum-bugs” that took down the Christmas decorations before January 1st. It was just time for me due to a few busy weeks ahead for our precious family.
I debated putting up a decor post or maybe just a few thrift find pictures to start my blogging year. However,when my newsfeed and ears seemed to be ringing with the sound of so many resolutions for the new year I quickly changed directions! Ah, it happens, right? I am sure each of you have your list of resolutions written down on paper, floating all over cyberspace for the world to hold you accountable or maybe you just have them hidden in your heart hoping that you will be able to check it off your “list” come December 31st, 2015. I’m going keep it real, sweet friends, my list is long….really long. It consists of losing MUCH weight, growing my hair longer, saving for a family vacation, reading through the Bible, picking up writing on my book from several years ago, and so much more. These are just a few desires that I will strive to give my best at succeeding.
But, this bunny trail that I am about to embark upon will direct you down a path that gets to my ultimate New Year’s resolution….
I am a people person. I seriously love people. I love being liked. I love seeing others happy in all situations. Who doesn’t? So, when conflicts arise and I hear or see that I have annoyed or hurt someone in some way or when another’s comfort is strained it really is a hard thing for me. I know it stems from pride to an extent and that is an area of growth that I stay on my knees regarding. All the while though I’m begging Jesus to keep me humble and tender to His molding. I have spent the last few days reflecting on the many blessings, changes, hurts, trials, and some funny situations that I encountered in 2014. I contemplated not thinking of any of it until the Lord graciously reminded me of the grace He so readily outpoured on me and the strength and joy He gave to me amidst any amount of conflict. He reminded me that if it had not been for every path in 2014 I wouldn’t be where I am at the entrance of a New Year with new precious opportunities to run through with Him TOGETHER.
I will confess overly sensitive people and I don’t jive all too well. I know, I said it…I’m opening myself up right? Well, aren’t we all human? While I may now be an assistant pastor’s wife I am still human. I still struggle and I still need accountability and encouragement in my daily walk with Jesus and in my ministry to others. I believe Jesus has stretched me beyond my comfort zone when it comes to my ministry with people this year. I know that I have not arrived and never will, but through a series of events and through the sensitivities and insensitivities of others and my own wicked self I have found my ultimate needed New Year’s “resolution”….COMPASSION! I know I have blogged on this topic before and even did a Sunday School lesson on it, but it is ever needed in all of our hearts.
We are daily inundated with comments, likes, “arguments,” standard differences, preferences, beliefs, desires and far more from so many across this globe. I honestly don’t get annoyed at the disagreements over facebook or the arguments amongst church members when someone does something different or wrong in their eyes. Annoyed would be the wrong emotion. My heart feels sadness when I see and hear it. I hurt as the lack of compassion is killing Christian circles like a vicious disease. Oh how I’ve been guilty of jumping to conclusions too and showing unnecessary criticism and unkind comments that ultimately wound to the core. We each like things “our way” and when “our way” is breached we tend to justify “condemning,” lifting up self, and just plain unkindness. Jesus has reminded me lately that my way is right for me perhaps, but it doesn’t mean it is right for my neighbor, my family member, or my fellow church friend. God has given us the privilege of having a personal walk with Him. He has given each of us different desires and has instilled in us or directed us as family units to abide by different sets of living standards. (Yes, there are Biblical commands and that is not what I am saying is different.) Each of us has been given a different personality…praise Jesus! (: He has placed us all in different walks of life, in different job endeavors and so much more.
If all this is true why then do we thwart our love on those who are different from us? Why are we quick to throw the first stone? Why are we so set on making others feel uncomfortable when they aren’t “just so” in our fleshly eyes? Why? Christians, why are we so uptight about life as a whole? We are so consumed with what others think of us…fitting in…knowing the latest…and being the best. Or we are so consumed with our self righteous high standards that we forget about the needy woman at the well who needed just a drop of compassion that soon drew her to Christ. That compassion is at the tip of our fingers or the tip of our tongues. But, we don’t use it. Instead we use our pompous attitudes proclaiming that our standards make us holy, that our church is the only church to attend, that we cannot associate with those in the world…. need I go on? We know little of Christ if we are guilty of any of these. Are we not to be like Him…be ye holy as He is? Did Christ not humble Himself for the sins of this world to be born in a manger? You know…the Christmas story? Did He not teach 12 men the importance to follow Him…completely? Did He not depict perfection as He was spat upon, ridiculed and beaten upon all for the sins of wicked men? Me---I’m one of those wicked beings He did all that for!! Did He not within His ministry on earth forgive the harlot, mightily use King David, transform the woman at the well, and so much more?
Why then must we walk about with our mouths dropped open when we come across one that looks and dresses differently than us? Why cannot our hearts be immediately drawn to them as a soul of someone who may need a bit of compassion given to them today no matter their appearance. We bark impatient orders at that crabby waitress when maybe she has had an absolutely awful day and just needs us (as Christians) to show her a bit of compassion? Our kids see us…the true us. Are they seeing Christ’s compassion outpoured or hypocritical church goers who act differently amidst the four walls of their own home? What about that “different” family in the church who you just feel you cannot associate with or have nothing in common with? Or, maybe it’s the couple who have a tough time controlling their kids and you are too scared they will have a negative influence on your own “angelic” beings.
We shudder at being placed in uncomfortable situations. We quickly justify our lack of compassion by the situation at hand. Instead of sharing His love towards others or amidst situations we spew forth criticism, trite remarks, gossip, or disapproval whether verbal or through childish mannerisms. Why? Oh, how I am guilty. Does the world see His compassion in me or do I stink of all this? Are we showing compassion in our communication? Our Hospitality? Our shopping adventures?
I could say maybe this is just me, but I know that is 100% incorrect. I observe, I contribute, and I am at fault, but I believe if we are all honest we are all guilty!
We are Disgusting.
We are Shattering our testimony.
We are to be “little Christs” yet we wreak of arrogance, judgmental attitudes, and insincere relationships.
Thus we are Pharisees.
I don’t want to be one this year.
I want to be known as a Compassionate Friend, Mother, Wife, Sister, Sister in Law, Daughter in Law, Pastor’s Wife, Neighbor, etc.
I want to run through this year with a heart full of compassion. I want so desperately to be more like my Savior. I know I will fail. But, my failures is what will keep me on my knees. With my hands in His I am sure to get the victory through His abundant grace.
So, as you think of your resolutions, would you consider sharing mine?
COMPASSION is not just a resolution. It is a responsibility that when administered will bring eternal rewards. I pray that my year is full to the max with eternal rewards from my much needed outpouring of Christ-like compassion to all those Jesus brings my way!
Thanks for listening to an ounce of my heart at the beginning of the new year. I am hoping to share a few home projects soon.
May we each look back at the end of the year and see tremendous growth in the Compassion department!