Love And Compassion

Over the last several months I can definitely say that I have seen the worst in people. If you don’t know me well, then you probably don’t know how sensitive I am. For example: I can’t watch an episode of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” without crying. Even the new season, which let’s be honest, was terrible.

I was always taught by my parents to look for the best in people. 

Lately, it’s been really hard to see the best in people.

When times get tough, it is a natural reaction for us as humans, to look at the negative side of a situation. I suppose it is also natural for us to want to express our opinions, like they matter. 

Recently I have seen so many people I love and respect, completely miss the point of what it means to live a life like Jesus did, with Love and Compassion. I have seen vile and disgusting opinions posted on social media by people who I thought understood the Gospel, and it has not only been eye opening, but absolutely heart breaking. 

The truth is that you don’t have to agree with everybody, because let’s be honest, that is not likely or practical, because we aren’t all robots. But this societal norm that says we have to make our opinions known, and argue them til the death, isn’t really working is it? 

“Every sea creature, reptile, bird, or animal is tamed and has been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. We praise our Lord and Father with it, and we curse men who are made in God’s likeness with it. Praising and cursing come out of the same mouth. My brothers, these things should not be this way.” –‭‭James‬ ‭3:7-10‬ ‭HCSB‬‬

When we decide to attack people who have different opinions then us, we no longer see them as humans who deserve love and compassion, instead we make them into enemies. Just to be clear, I am not suggesting that we shouldn’t stand up for our beliefs, and make them known. However, there is a way to do that without starting fights, and attacking people who differ in opinions from you. There will always be people who want to fight, or argue, because they think your opinion is stupid. That is where, displaying love and compassion, along with a little self control can go a long way.

Love God. Love People. Show Compassion. Life is too short to live with grudges and hearts full of hate.

Lacking Nothing

My wife and I have been through our share of “ups & downs.” Both in our single lives before we knew each other, as well as our life together. These last couple years haven’t really been great years, but they haven’t been terrible. They have just been years spent together, and we make the most out of what the world has thrown at us, and what God has allowed us to endure. Truthfully though we have seen way more “downs” than “ups” since December. We thought we were easing our way out of a tough season, then the pandemic hit.

I started reading through James again. I thought this might be a good time, considering the world feels like it’s going straight to hell and stuff. Something definitely hit me in a different way than it had in the past. I feel like everybody is pretty familiar with James 1:2&3:

Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.

We see this verse everywhere. It’s been posted all over social media since the pandemic started. It’s a nice verse, a comforting verse. It’s the kind of verse that feels like a warm hug on a cold day. (I don’t know where that analogy came from, just deal with it.) What hit me hard however, was the next verse. Verse 4. I have read it so many times, but this time, man, it cut deep.

But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.

That verse does not feel like a warm hug on a cold day. The condition for being “mature and complete, lacking nothing,” isn’t just enduring trials, but completely enduring trials. Do you know how many of my friends have jumped ship because they decided that life following Jesus was too hard? I mean, honestly, who hasn’t thought about it? It is too hard. That is why that verse is important. Endurance must do it’s complete work.

I don’t know what the immediate future holds. My wife and I are having to learn a new way of life, just like you are too. However, we have seen God move recently in ways we have been praying for, for so long. Life is a marathon of various trials, and our faith being tested, is producing endurance, so that once it has done it’s complete work, we may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.