three: compassion

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series: Core Values

title: three:compassion

teacher: Jacob Bender

date: October 8, 2017

scriptures: Psalm 34:18, Matthew 5:7, Isaiah 58, Luke 14:12-14, Mark 4:2-20, Matthew 5:48, Luke 6:36, James 1:27, Acts 10:38, Isaiah 49:13, Jeremiah 22:16, Matthew 23:13, Hebrews 4:15


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A few months ago, Dawn and I tagged team a message, and in it we talked about something we called “the circle of Mercy.” it is nothing fancy… in fact, in many ways we made it up. But it comes from the fifth beatitude, in Matthew 5 when Jesus says: Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.


Mercy is the only beatitude that Jesus gives us, in which the person who gives it receives the SAME thing in return. Jesus is saying “Mercy circles backs on you,” and when we view this from the perspective of our community… of Courage Church… what we have is a circle of people who are actively compassionate toward one another. It becomes the blood flow of our Christian communities. 

If we have a community who lives by this beatitude, what we have are people who see the world through each others eyes… and in a world like that there is no black and white, there is no rich and poor… there isn’t an “in crowd” or an “out crowd”… at least not amongst us.

Because ultimately when something happens to someone, it happens to everyone. If an injustice is done to one, then we all drop everything, and for as long as it takes… we all see the world through their eyes… 

that is true mercy. That is ACTIVE COMPASSION. 

This is why I said what I did a few weeks ago about the problem with viewing every social issue involving injustice as having “two sides” - because obviously, there are always two sides… sometimes more… there two opinions… or more… ALWAYS… 

but if every time someone is hurt by something, you have to stand up, and puff yourself up, and show them WHY another view exists explaining WHY THEY SHOULDN’T BE HURT… then you have completely thrown empathy OUT THE WINDOW. You have completely thrown mercy OUT the window… 

But “blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.”

Paul says it like this, “mourn with those who mourn” 

cry with people when they are crying. 

See the world through others perspective…  

look around at what they are feeling, and force yourself to understand why… why does THIS PERSON feel this way? rather than thinking of reasons that “if it were me, I wouldn’t be upset about this…” 

you can’t be actively compassionate… absolutely whole heartedly empathetic toward another human being if you have your own opinion about why they shouldn’t feel the way that they feel. 

AND compassionate people can’t justify NOT helping someone, with thoughts like this:

“well, they wouldn’t be there… IF” 

if they worked a little harder…

if they had done their job…

if they had not run away… 

no… you… remember… mercy does the opposite… mercy looks at the person… and immediately puts themselves in THEIR skin… immediately begins to look at the world through THEIR EYES… not to think “okay I am in their skin now… so what could I have done differently to NOT end up here” NO!!!!!  but rather, to think: “what do I NEED right now?”  

What would show me Jesus right now?

What would open the door to the cross in this moment? 

How do we be Jesus right now? 

Jesus was ALL about COMPASSION. 

and this is the way that we look at compassion at Courage Church: 

Compassion sees the world through the eyes of others, and it is stirred to action by what it sees. 


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