Fluent Compassion

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

In his book 40 Days to a Joy-Filled Life, Tommy Newberry suggests we begin to practice “fluent compassion.” I have never thought about being fluent in compassion. To be fluent means to able to speak a language effortlessly. Can I really speak AND demonstrate compassion effortlessly.? This is hard for my choleric nature to do!! Mercy, unfortunately, ranks pretty low on my spiritual gifts inventory. I find it easier to show compassion to someone who is humble or someone who is the victim of circumstances over which he has no control. But how do we extend compassion toward the person who seems to be the source of the negativity in the first place? Or to someone who has brought about his or her own suffering. Isn't that a challenge? Jesus expects us to show love to everyone whether they deserve it or not. Jesus showed fluent compassion. It’s also called grace.

I have found it helpful to assume that negative people are really dealing with some internal struggles and I should give them the benefit of the doubt. It really says more about me than the other person, if I return negativity and harshness with the same.

My dad showed me strategy when I was a child. Whenever we were eating in a restaurant and the server seemed distracted, upset, or gruff, he would disarm her without her realizing it. He would simply say, “You must have had a busy day. I hope we can make it better.”

Let’s see how Jesus handled extending compassion to perhaps undeserved recipients.

When Jesus was in that region east of the Sea of Galilee, known as “the country of the Gerasenes,” he encountered a man whose body was possessed by demons. This unfortunate man was a spectacle who wandered around the countryside unclothed and lived among the tombs, He cut himself with stones, easily broke through chains that bound him, and generally terrorized the neighborhood. Jesus showed mercy and cast out the demons. The man’s gratitude was obvious. He even wanted to travel with our Lord, but Jesus had other plans. “Go to your house unto your friends, and tell them how great things the Lord has done for you, and how he had mercy on you” (Mark 5:19). Showing mercy means that we help others because our heart goes out to them. It is a response that comes from a tender heart. Mercy is an act of compassion.

"Compassion is the capacity for feeling what it is like to live inside somebody else's skin. It is the knowledge that there can never really be any peace and joy for me until there is peace and joy finally for you too." Frederick Buechner

“You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” ― John Bunyan

David recognized the compassion of God in Psalm 145: 8 and 9 -

The LORD is gracious and compassionate,

slow to anger and rich in love.

The LORD is good to all;

he has compassion on all he has made

Let’s consider how showing compassion keep us slow to anger, rich in love, and good to all like our Lord. Let’s learn fluent compassion.


Leading Forward - by Templates para novo blogger