I believe that it is possible that God created some of us to be more gifted in the area of compassion than others. I also believe that often times, the beginning of compassion in a certain area is in direct correlation to what we have experienced first hand or through the lives of those close to us.
For example, I believe, in part, that because I grew up next door to someone who was repeatedly on the receiving end of thoughtless, hurtful, damaging words such as “fairy” and “fag” that I have compassion for those struggling with homosexuality. I believe that because I am Cuban and have witnessed my parents being treated differently due to their ethnicity that it makes me more prone to want to defend others experiencing the same. And maybe it’s because I know of young girls who, feeling as though they had no other option at the time, chose abortion instead of adoption that it frustrates me when I see the tactics used in some pro-life campaigns (tactics that have shame, guilt and judgment at their foundation). And, though I am thankful – yes, thankful – for having had those experiences [because of the compassion it has given me] here’s the thing: I don’t want to be someone who only has compassion in areas that I have directly or indirectly experienced or witnessed. No, selective compassion is not what I wish to possess. I’ve thought about this a while and what it boils down to, I believe, is that in order to have compassion for all people in all circumstances, it is absolutely necessary to dismiss any notion of self-righteousness.
If as a Christian, I understand that the righteousness I possess belongs solely to the Holy Spirit who lives in and works through me AND I hold steady and humble in this knowledge EVERY SECOND of my life then that’s the only way I will ever have a shot at obtaining the compassion I desire – a compassion like Jesus. This means renewing my commitment each day to walk with and know my God more than the day before; simultaneously allowing His beautifully, gracious, loving spirit to flow out of me. Because like everything you or I struggle with, whether compassion or something else we cannot overcome it without Him. As we surrender to and spend more time with Him; we naturally become more like Him. Will we still falter? Absolutely; but we will falter less and follow more (with more ease; and less struggle). For truly, He is always there for us; EVERY SECOND, ready to help us be more like Him – loving, caring, compassionate and so much more.
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” (Colossians 3:12 NIV)