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What it Takes to Be a Person of Revolutionary Compassion

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Susten Pass – Switzerland
Copyright Lisa@The Warming House

Compassion is extremely trendy these days. It’s the thing to do – especially among young adults.

Demonstrations of compassion break down walls, bring people together, create synergy, and build community. For those we serve, it soothes wounds, brings healing, births hope. For the agent of compassion, there’s often exhilaration, satisfaction, and a sense we’re doing what we were born to do.

Are you on the compassion bandwagon? If you are . . . fantastic!! But let me ask you a question. How deep does your compassion go? Would you like to be a person of revolutionary compassion? If so, what are you willing to sacrifice to demonstrate it? What are you willing to suffer?

Strange questions? Maybe. But relevant.

In reality, compassion – when it’s authentic – isn’t always respectable, popular, and admirable. Unfortunately, it can be brutally unpopular. My husband and I learned this the hard way through personal experiences. Shocking isn’t it?

But there’s an upside. When compassion is unpopular, it can be evidence of Christ within.

You see, Jesus was often denigrated for his brand of compassion. When he cared for the “undesirables” of society, he was shamed. When he hung out with tax collectors, he was called a drunkard and a glutton. (Matthew 11:18-19) When he drove demons out of tormented individuals, he was called Satan. (Luke 11:14-20) When he demonstrated mercy and healed people on the Sabbath, he was accused of being a sinner. (John 9:1-16)

Thankfully, Jesus didn’t care about his reputation or about winning popularity contests. Compassion naturally flowed out of him. It was an elemental part of his nature.

If you’re going to allow Jesus to truly live his life through you, be prepared for him to demonstrate unpopular compassion through you too.

Remember his words, “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” John 14:12

When you abandon your life to Christ, extraordinary things can happen. You’ll do the same kinds of things he did. In turn, you’ll need to be ready for the same kind of persecution he experienced.

This requires a “denial of self” as Jesus instructed his true followers to do in Matthew 16:24, Mark 8:34, and Luke 9:23-26.

“Denial of self” involves no longer being preoccupied with what’s best for you alone. It includes a willingness to make yourself available to him for his purposes . . . and to embrace persecution, shame, and suffering for the sake of his kingdom and the greater good.

The development of authentic compassion requires a willingness to die to some precious things.

I’m serious.

Are you willing to:

  • Be called by a shameful name?
  • Lose your reputation – or allow it to take a hit?
  • Give up honor and “position” in your family, business, friend group, church, or community?
  • Be unpopular?
  • Relinquish the pursuit of admiration from other people?
  • Suffer?
  • Experience persecution?
  • Be ostracized?
  • Lose respect and acceptance?
  • Be rejected and treated as an outcast?

These are all things you might experience when you demonstrate authentic compassion, but those who sincerely love have a willingness to pay sacrificial “prices” and a willingness to give up everything for the benefit of others. That’s what Jesus did for you. He gave up everything to rescue and restore you. How much are you willing to give up as His follower?

If a relationship with Christ is worth anything, it’s worth everything. Loving him better than anything in this world leads to denial of – and death to – “self.”

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” Galatians 2:20

Death and denial bring the reward of intimate fellowship with him (Philippians 3:7-8, 10) and his glory in us. (Romans 8:16-18; 2 Corinthians 4:11-12) His kindness through us has the potential to draw people to his side. (Romans 2:4)

When it comes to compassion, how far will you go? How much will you risk? Are you all in? Have you resolved to follow Christ wholeheartedly? Will you allow him to lead you? Will you love like he does? Will you be present with the “lowly” as he was – at the expense of your reputation and public admiration?

If you seriously want to be a person of authentic compassion, it will require courage because you will most likely be persecuted as Christ demonstrates his brand of compassion through you. He will, however, empower you to live that lifestyle of revolutionary compassion if you will choose to align yourself with him, devote yourself to him, surrender yourself completely to him, comply with him, make yourself available to him, and live a life focused intently on his teachings and example. Without a doubt.

Thank you sincerely for being here – and for taking time to read my posts. I would love to hear your feedback on this one. Have you experienced persecution for being compassionate? What do you think of my statement that true compassion can be unpopular?


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