Tuesday, March 5, 2013
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.