Monday, January 30, 2012

Of course I'm compassionate.

I'm learning that nothing comes as a surprise to God.

I'm the first one to stand up for someone whom I believe has been treated unjustly. The. First. (If you know me, you know that's true. This girl's always got your back. Always.)

Years ago, I took one of those spiritual gifts test. Most of it was accurate.

I scored highest in (surprise, surprise) administration ... it's like saying I'm good at bossing people around. Woo hoo! Yay for me. Great characteristic. (said in my most sarcastic voice)

And in a close second by only one or two points was discernment. Yep. I can see that in my life quite a bit. There's many times I know what's going on without anyone telling me anything. But the best part about that gift is being able to sense that someone's hurt because then I can help.

So there you go ... someone who can sense something about someone and then tell them what to do. Pretty much what I do.

Beau says I lecture too much. But in my mind, I feel like I'm helping. I can obviously see what's wrong with your life and I know how you can fix it. Geez. It's not rocket science.

Getting back to my point, one of my lowest scores was compassion.

Here's where I think the test is bunk.

I am extremely compassionate. If I saw anyone was in need, I'd do whatever I could to help them. Whatever it took. I wish I could take every orphan child into my home. I wish I could help to get every prostitute off the street. I wish I could get every addict help to overcome their addiction. I wish I could care for the sick and dying. I wish I could hold the hands of those who are scared and lonely. I wish I could help every woman and child in need. I wish I could find the homeless homes. And the list goes on ...

I would go to bat for most anyone who needed it.

My problem lies in deciding who needs it and who doesn't. Sometimes we all tend to sit in judgment of those whom we deem not worthy of compassion.

God's dealing with me on that. How dare I or anyone else determine who needs compassion? Because God knows I need it a lot.

Nope. I'd much rather sit back and say "I told you so, Dummy. You shouldn't have done that. That was a stupid choice. Did you think about all the ramifications of that one action? Did you think how that choice would affect other people around you?" And I could go on there too. (Hence my problem.)

But, I don't know EVERYTHING. That's the part I have to continue to remember. And then grant compassion and grace anyway simply because God offers me so much.

Granted, there are many times people need tough love and someone to just tell them the truth. That's what I tend to do, but am trying to work on sitting back and letting God handle it. It's almost like my tongue has a mind of it's own. Biting it does not help. I need a lock on that thing.

I'm learning that when someone hurts me, is ugly to me, makes decisions for me, plain 'ol doesn't like me, and so on again ... that action is not a surprise to God. It may have not been His choice for me. But He knew it was going to happen, and now I choose the way I'm going to handle it.

I have a friend who is EXTREMELY compassionate, almost to a fault sometimes. I tease her about it now and then. Anytime someone is in the wrong ... and they are in the wrong, she makes an excuse for them. I let her know when she's being too forgiving. Because I'm obviously the judge and jury on that. She believes the best of everyone. Me? Depends ... if I know their character, then yes or if I know there character, no. We joke about her being so glass-half-full in the most ridiculous scenarios. But, she offers compassion to everyone. And, I mean EVERYONE even when I think they absolutely do not need it or deserve it.

The thing is she's right.

Now, I'm not saying I can be like her because that's going to be darn hard. But, I can shut up and let God handle each situation.

I told Beau last night that I think God's just messing with me sometimes in areas where I struggle with understanding and granting compassion. When I get faced with the same issues over and over again, I feel like He says to me, "Are you still going to obey me?" When decisions are made for me, will I continue to be faithful? When people do things I don't agree with, will I think the best of them or have compassion for them?

I'm working on it, Lord.

And, why? Because I know He is faithful and compassionate.

I read this morning in Psalms that "He guards the lives of the faithful." No matter what happens, He GUARDS me. He knows what's going to happen; How will I respond?

I am determined to strive for better obedience to my Lord at all costs.

(no matter what stupid things people do ... ugh ... see?)

Have you heard this song by Kari Jobe yet? Lyrics are spot-on.


Cathy said...

True words...but it's really hard sometimes to be compassionate. I'm so glad that He is though.

Beautiful song.

Kristy said...

Ouch :) You aren't alone out there. I stuggle with this too and know I'm in the wrong whenever I stop and consider how good and gracious God is to me.

Stephanie said...

I downloaded SMH the day it released: love.
We are similiar in gifts. I think your friend has the gift of seeing the love underneath the confusion and fear of people when they act like jerks. It's much easier to show compassion to the innocent. I'm also guesing you haven't had much, if anything, handed to you (I haven't). This leads to your leaderhip and survivial instincts with good intuition. That is the gift, but make it difficult to have compassion on those who are still looking for their bootstraps. :-) Great post!

Kristy said...

Stephanie, I think that is a good observation/explanation and I love the comment about the bootstraps! :)

Stephanie said...

Thanks Kristy!

Peter and Nancy said...

I think you're onto something about the perceived innocence of the people we extend compassion to . . . I serve in a ministry that reaches out to women who work as exotic dancers. We have women from different churches serving in the ministry, but only one church will support us financially because they perceive the women as sinful, and "choosing" to work there. If only they could hear the stories most of the women have, about being in foster care, about being abused by family members, about never knowing their own father. There are reasons they end up thinking that this job is their only choice to earn a living . . .

It heartens me to read your words here, and know that God is always working on people who are open to growing more like Him.