Understanding or defining compassion has always been hard for me. Maybe that’s because accepting compassion does not come easy to me either. We are called to be compassionate to one another. I feel like I have a very compassionate heart when it comes to others. The problem I face is when others try to show compassion to me. I feel like I don’t deserve their compassion.
I have talked to a few people recently and realize I’m not alone in this. We are great givers but when it comes to receiving we struggle. Why is it so hard to accept things? I find myself really struggling when it comes to accepting a gift. I know it cost someone something. Some of their hard earned money was spent on me. But even when its not a tangible gift. When its someone’s time or their compassion I still struggle.
If we know we are supposed to have compassion for one another then why is it so hard to allow someone to have compassion for us? I think it goes hand in hand with accepting help. It’s a pride issue. We don’t want to admit we need help. We don’t want to admit we need compassion. We feel like it is some sort of failure. Accepting defeat. But why? Why can’t our friends, families and co-workers help us? Why is it not ok for them to show us compassion? Why can we give but not receive?
I know the verse in Acts (20:35) that talks about it being better to give than to receive. And I believe its true. But does that mean we can never receive? Not at all. Let’s focus a little less on that and a little more on Ephesians 4:32 “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Let’s focus on those words “to one another”. Giving compassion and receiving it at times as well.
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