Thursday, November 04, 2010
The ( Com ) Passion of the Christ
I've got a problem; I don't act very Christ-like, most of the time!:(
Why would I admit that, you might ask? That's a good question; 'why?' Aren't we supposed to automatically make the right choices and do the right things, since we asked Christ into our 'hearts'? Well, of course we are, but the sad truth is, we don't always do the right things or make the right choices!
Probably one of the most Christ-like qualities, that we can exhibit, is compassion: the Scriptures ( Gospels ) are full of examples of Jesus' compassion; for instance, in the beginning of the 9th chapter of Mathew, we read of a paralytic that Jesus took compassion on, and later on in chapter 9, and in chapters 14 and 15, of His compassion on the multitudes ( Matthew 14 & 15 record the miraculous feedings of the 5,000 and 4,000 ( see also Mark 6:30-44 and 8:1-10 ). The latter part of Mark, chapter 1 records how Jesus had compassion on a leper and healed his body. The next chapter records a number of examples of this compassion for us, and Luke 7:36-50, records Jesus compassion on, and forgiveness of 'a woman in the city who was a sinner', while Jesus' parables in chapters 10 and 15 are good examples of our Father's compassion for us, His children.
According to Webster's; the word 'compassion' means 'sympathetic consciousness of others' distress together with a desire to alleviate it': much of the time, we as Christians ( and it's not just Christians, thank God; some unbelievers practice their compassion better than some Christians ) do feel a desire to alleviate someone's distress, and in many cases, we do, to the best of our ability, but Christ, as God Himself, not only felt that desire, but ALWAYS, without fail, completed His purpose in that desire!
If you'll notice; in most, if not all, of the Scriptural examples of Jesus' compassion ( I've named but a few ), He forgave/healed those that came to Him, looking or asking ( begging-Mathew 15:21-28, Mark 7:24-30 ) for His compassion, and in much the same way, we, when we see a need, should feel compassion for that person, and, at the leading of God, the Holy Spirit, do what we can to meet, or alleviate, that need. I say 'should', because that, in an ideal 'world', in ideal circumstances, is what 'should' happen ( at least, that's what we would like to think ). Yes; sometimes people ( because it's not an ideal 'world' ) don't want, or feel threatened by, our 'compassion', and oft-times our circumstances, whatever they may be seem to put a 'damper' on our compassion! Sometimes, we get to the point, either from people not accepting our compassion, or else, taking undue advantage of that compassion, are ready to throw our hands up and say 'I don't care anymore; I can't care anymore!', but although this sometimes happens, we, like it or not, especially as Christians, still have compassion, and are compelled, by the Spirit within us, to act on that desire.
In the love of Christ,
Charles Haddon Shank