Be kind and compassionate.
32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (NIV)
We live in a world where the minimum is acceptable. Unless we are getting paid for it, the minimum is acceptable. To be kind to another could be as simple as general etiquette, politeness. However, the root meaning of the word means to ‘be useful’ to another.
The Lord has not called us to be polite though even politeness has gone the way of the typewriter. We are servants of the Most High God assigned to serve those around us.
In one of the most beautiful moments of Scripture, the King of Glory pushed back away from the dinner table, removed his outer clothing, put a towel around his waist, got on his knees, and washed the dirty feet of the disciples. This is the kindness we are called to. This is Godly politeness. To be useful is to help another wash away the filth of this world from the hearts of others.
Jesus’ kindness coalesced with His compassion. In our vernacular, the word ‘passion’ has melded into romance. There is a deeper meaning when we see this word used in reference to the crucifixion called the Passion of Christ. Passion is a willingness to suffer for another out of love. Jesus suffered his reputation, humbling Himself to the feet of His disciples, then His body to the cross at Calvary for His creation. This is passion
Compassion is that passion that erupts from within because we identify with the suffering of others. Christ lived as a man for this very reason. He experienced our life, our pain, our struggle to expand the depth of His love as if that were possible. If we want to have a Christ-like kindness for others, we must remember they have their own pain. Perhaps, we know it, perhaps not. But the one thing every soul has in common is the pain and suffering of life.
When we see others, regardless of their facial expression, the clothes they wear, the cars they drive, the color of their skin, the dialect of their speech, we are united in suffering. Out of our own pain, understanding they have their own, comes a compassion that moves us to servanthood. To judge others or to assume our pain is unique robs us of the privilege of serving others.
Prayer: Lord, never let me let the exterior appearance blind me to other’s pain that I might be a compassionate servant as You are to me. Amen.