01. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
We made it, finally at the end of my (unofficial) top ten bible memory verses. Thank you for journeying with me on this, I hope it hasn’t been too bad, and who knows, you might have a few of these committed to memory now!
I remember sharing a meal with a few people and one couple had just published a book about marriage, particularly about kindness in marriages. It was such a simple thing and a quick conversation, but I kept thinking about it, and how perhaps something seemingly insignificant could make such a difference.
Being kind and compassionate is perhaps not something we find easy to do all the time, I don’t. When I am tired, grumpy and fed up I can be unkind, and compassion doesn’t really surface. When you add in forgiveness it takes it to a whole new level.
I often want forgiveness, and I am always looking to be treated with kindness and compassion but giving it back seems to be more of a decision and conscious choice than the normal behaviour I usually default too.
Once you have that introspective (maybe this is just me here, but I hope you can see some of this in your life too!) the bible then tells you something else! It ramps the whole thing up even further! Not only are we to be kind and compassionate but we are also told to forgive. Forgive set against the scales of Jesus complete and forgiveness of us.
I am done with my confessions here, but let’s just say that if that’s the way we approach this, I can go on forgiving people until the day I die because of the work Jesus has done for me. Jesus has forgiven me, for everything and that is a bit of an astounding thing to be honest.
So if Jesus has really done that for me, I can in turn forgive others, and love everyone with kindness and compassion and I should want to show that more and more. But what does that look like?
Well in the simplest terms (the ones I understand) it is this; be kind to people, think about others and their needs, see people in need and help, be there, show up, stand with others, speak for them, encourage, support, congratulate and celebrate others even when they do better than I could. Show mercy, patience and compassion and really love people even if they don’t like my Christian views or agree with how I choose to live.
I am feeling a bit challenged, time to stop.
Image Credit: Ben White