2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.
I am reminded of the opening words to “Mighty to Save” this morning. Everyone needs compassion, love that’s never failing, let mercy fall on me. When I think of that line about everyone needing compassion, I most certainly think of me. I mean, God is personal and He is looking out for me, right? Yes, it is true; He has compassion on each of us individually. He makes our lives better. He comforts us when we are discouraged. He lifts us up when we are down. He is personal, loving, and caring toward my heart.
But I’m supposed to do something with that? When He shows me compassion and comfort, I am supposed to, like, pass it on? I just want to feel better about myself. Forget everyone else. I’m bummed out, man. I need some comfort here! Right now my world is falling apart and I need God for me and me alone. Nobody else gets a piece of Him right now. In fact, I am going to ask Him to stop that whole omnipresent thing so He can focus on just me. You ever feel that way? Can anyone relate?
The thing is, our walk with Jesus was intended to be shared. Our life in Him was intended to be contagious. When He shows us love, we are to love others with that love. When He shows us compassion, we are to show compassion to others with that compassion. Wow, I am getting as wordy as Paul. Anyway, we are supposed to be passing this stuff along. But we don’t always live that way. When someone else is going through something hard, we might say, “they had it coming” or “that’s what they get for being a jerk.” Or maybe we think, “if they would have just listened to me, they wouldn’t be in this mess.”
Question: has God ever had compassion on you? Has He ever comforted you in a hard time that you brought upon yourself? If the answer is yes, then I would challenge you to pass it on. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 says that God has compassion on us with a purpose. That purpose is so that we can in turn show others who God is through our lives. It is so that when someone else is hurting, we can reach out with His heart rather than lash out with our own. This is hard stuff. We would do well to examine our hearts and find out if there is any compassion hanging out there collecting dust. Because, it wasn’t intended for you to hang on to.