Category Archives: Compassion

Freedom to Serve in the Moment Provided

Last week, as I was hurriedly leaving one job site to drive frantically over to the next, I had the “bad luck” to be drawn into the very-real problems of another human being, the presenting issue at hand being a broken retractable dog leash. Involuntarily, I felt my inner heart pipe up: “Seriously?” Surely no

Spot-On Theology and Worship…from the Least-Likely of Sources

“Yeah, see…you can’t really celebrate His birth in Bethlehem unless you remember the Cross…and the Resurrection. You gotta keep all three of them in mind, or else it really don’t make sense. That’s why I drew all three.” Last week, I was minding my own business, very busy doing something terribly important, when a member

Jesus Is More Interesting Than Anything ‘Religion’ Has to Offer

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.” Matthew 23:27 The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him.

‘GriefShare’ Begins Aug. 30th at The Crossing

Loss is a universal experience, yet one that often causes a great deal of pain and confusion. Broken relationships, dreams unrealized, hopes dashed…all of these life events produce a loss that, if not dealt with fully and grieved appropriately, can be devastating for an individual’s recovery. One of the deepest losses we experience this side of

Consider ‘Making It Personal’ on April 29th

If you are thinking about serving alongside other Christians during #ForColumbia2017 on Saturday, April 29th – and I hope you are – consider making it personal. A few weeks ago, thanks to a partnership with Meals on Wheels, I was able to visit with several aging Columbians who still live independently, in their own homes…but

Setting Aside Division, Uniting to Love and Serve our Neighbors

Daniel 2:20-21 (ESV) Daniel answered and said: “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might. He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding.” Jeremiah 29:7 But seek the welfare of the

Know Anyone Who’s Dreading the Holidays?

I recently ran into a friend who confided in me his grief over a friend’s disintegrating marriage. My friend has been married for decades, but even though divorce in the United States occurs in roughly half of all marriages, I was struck by how shocked and sad he was when faced with the reality of a

True Story: Investing in God’s Kingdom Yields 1000% Return

Like most others, I am regularly tempted to be distracted away from the more-important things in life – i.e. other people and their needs – to focus on my own well-being, particularly when the specter of financial distress rears its ugly head. I’ve lived with money and without it, and while I would agree that

3 Ways to Screw Up a Conversation

We’ve probably been on both sides of the conversation. Perhaps we’ve been the one who’s taken the risky step of opening up with a vulnerable topic, only to have someone squelch our spirits with a quick or trite response. Or maybe we’ve actually been the one to offer the nonchalant, unhelpful response. And after the response was out of your mouth you wish you could grab it back. Or even worse, maybe it flew out of your mouth and you weren’t even aware. I know I’ve been in all of these positions.

The Bible makes it really clear that our compassion towards people matters. The apostle Paul, for example, thanks the Philippians for their compassion toward him, through their financial gifts and in their sending Epaphroditus to visit him, to spend time with him and talk. That compassion cheered Paul up and helped him endure imprisonment.

There are lots of ways we show compassion, and our words are part of that. So we should take the weight of words seriously. Proverbs 13:3 tells us, “Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin.” If we want to show compassion, then it makes it sense that we reflect on what we might be tempted to say to people, and how those words could prove unhelpful, or even hurtful.

Let’s look at some phrases that probably all of us have said at some point and see how they could be unhelpful and then offer a potential more helpful response. For purposes of modeling how these phrases could look, I am going to use the scenario of someone sharing with you that they just had a miscarriage.

Humility vs. Hubris

Great! Just when I thought maybe I might be gaining ground in getting along with others, I’ve found a new pet peeve. I say “new” only because the level of annoyance I feel seems to have gone up considerably as social media has become more prominent in my work and daily grind; the propensity of