“Though the mountains be shaken
and the hills be removed,
yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken
nor my covenant of peace be removed,”
says the Lord, who has compassion on you.
Facebook tirades. Political jabs. Angry exchanges. Short fuses all around.
Whether you have been the recipient of one, or the instigator in recent months,
How is it that we all lose focus on the humanity of others so easily sometimes,
even when we feel like we are really trying?
Compassion is a practice that runs in very short supply these days… in all of us.
This Sunday, we are beginning a series called: Practicing Compassion, where we are going to explore practices for growing our compassion. However, contrary to what most of us may assume – these practices are NOT directed primarily at others. Rather, compassion is something that starts with ourselves. Compassion moves from the inside outward.
Have you ever noticed that one of the hardest people to extend compassion to is ourselves?
We all have an inner critic.
Do you know what yours sounds like?
I bet you do if you have ever caught yourself saying one of these things:
What was I thinking?
Why can’t I ever get this right?
Could I be any more selfish?
There is no time to rest.
I look so fat!
No wonder no one likes me.
I am not good at this.
I'm so stupid.
I can’t do it.
I am not enough.
We are HARD on ourselves.
And whether we realize it or not – how we think about and treat ourselves is directly related to how we think about and treat one another. What is going on inside of us is directly related to how we respond to what is going on around us.
If you have ever responded poorly to another person – it is NEVER just because they were a “jerk” to you. Something is also happening inside. And it is up to us to find out what it is.
Learning to treat ourselves with compassion is an important part of the Christian journey.
God created us in compassionate grace – and as our text reminds us today –
No matter how rough the road may get around or inside of us,
God’s compassion and love never fails.
It is never taken from us.
It can never be removed.
And so, we are invited to learn to see ourselves the way that God does.
Does it mean we will ever be perfect? Absolutely not.
But can we treat our wounds with care and be gentle with ourselves in our mistakes?
Of course we can.
Where do you need to be more compassionate with yourself today?
Remember, growing in compassion starts from within.