I was sitting in church a few Sundays ago. The pastor was teaching about relationships with others and the correlation between how we treat/respect/honor others and how we honor God. He mentioned (this is my paraphrase by the way) that in most cases that we tend to respect/honor a complete stranger in just being polite (i.e. opening the door for them, “Yes, Ma’am, Yes, Sir,” etc.) more than our own family (i.e. spouse, child, friend, etc.). This is because we see our families and friends more often. We don’t put on much of a show for them because we know them and vice versa. How much easier is it to go off the handle when you child is throwing a fit or telling you “NO” in a disrespectful manner? How much easier is it to blow up at your spouse when something didn’t get done or was done incorrectly? How much more patient and compassionate are we with an old lady we don’t know that is walking about .0005 miles per decade, but you wait…you smile and hold the door open. I find that I am not as compassionate. I get so frustrated at my “inner circle” for no reason.
Case in point…(just to be transparent)
My wife (Lovely) is pregnant with our third child. She didn’t have morning sickness with our first two. This baby is way different. So I was JUST getting out of the shower and my wife comes and knocks on the door to say that she HAS TO get to the toilet RIGHT NOW. And apologizes for my convenience. I run out wet and with a towel barely covering what it needs to and I stand there and get frustrated…instead of having sympathy/empathy for her. I mean, kripes, man, she, your wife, is growing your baby. She is the one that is not sleeping and can barely eat and she is still patient with you.
I have to learn compassion. It know that this will be a tough lesson, but I must learn compassion. My heart rarely feels grieved anymore. This, my friends, is not a good thing. So here is some scripture for me to reflect on and pray that God would sear this into my heart.
Micah 7:18-20 (New King James Version) courtesy of www.biblegateway.com
18 Who is a God like You,
And passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage?
He does not retain His anger forever,
Because He delights in mercy.
19 He will again have compassion on us,
And will subdue our iniquities.
You will cast all our sins
Into the depths of the sea.
20 You will give truth to Jacob
And mercy to Abraham,
Which You have sworn to our fathers
From days of old.
We constantly fail God, yet He has compassion. Of course, this isn’t to say that He doesn’t discipline in order to correct, but He still has compassion and is patient with us. If we don’t learn the first time, He guides us along that path again.
Thank you, God for never giving up on me. I know that if I were in Your position I would have given up on me a long time ago. God change my heart and make it pliable…make it full of compassion and forgiveness. Amen.