Compassionate Communities

I’ve been learning this month that compassion is really about learning to work together.  There are lots of things that challenge us in life, things that frustrate us and people that seem to intentionally try to hurt us with words or actions.  When we are compassionate with one another we not only are interested in other people’s lives, we support them as well.  We’re there for them when they’re struggling, we celebrate with them when they’re doing well, we work with them when they’re trying new things and listen as they sort through things.

Compassion is about supporting each other when things aren’t going as well, but it actually teaches us how things should work when they are.  If we knew that we wouldn’t be judged or criticized for asking for help would we ask for it a whole lot sooner?  Would we reach out a helping hand sooner if we knew we weren’t going to be yelled at and told they could handle it?  Would we work better as a team if we knew the boss would support us for prioritizing rather than yell at us for not doing our specific job?

I always try to come at a project, client, or experience with an open mind so that I can see the different possibilities for that situation, always looking for at least 2 different ways to see that situation.  As much as I trust my initial feelings and judgements, I try to always leave myself open for a second opinion and other perspectives on things because I know that there are very few things that are one sided in this world.

Jesus did a lot of mind blowing during His time on earth.  He was constantly challenging what people believed and how they lived.  Many times He did it because they weren’t supporting each other or treating each other well.  Other times He did it because He wanted them to see things differently.  But throughout His ministry He made one thing clear: we are in this together.  As much as Jesus knew there was a need for leadership, the leaders weren’t there to be high and mighty but to make sure everyone was cared for.

It’s no different today: we need leaders to step up and encourage us to support each other.  Will you be a leader or a supporter this week?

“Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.” Philippians 2:1-2

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