Diane J. Chandler: Source of Compassion

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You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. Acts 10:38

“For Jesus, love was the center point around which all other emotions including anger, sorrow and grief, took their cue. Since God’s very essence and nature is love (1 John 4:8, 16), Jesus’ reciprocal love relationship with the Father was the source of Jesus’ love for others. For example, in explaining to His disciples that He must return to the Father, Jesus declares that the ruler of this world has no power over Him and that He loves the Father and does exactly what the Father has commanded Him (John 14:31). Therefore, Jesus’ self-sacrificial love and compassion for others directly flow from His love for the Father and obedience to the Father’s will. Jesus’ mission of love, which perfectly aligned with mercy and compassion, resulted in His “doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil” (Acts 10:38).”

Diane J. Chandler in Christian Spiritual Formation: An Integrated Approach for Personal and Relational Wholeness (Downers Grove: IVP, 2014) 86-87.

As I think about compassion linked to generosity this year, and as I return home from Central America, I am reminded of what my friend Edgar Güitz said to me dinner night before last. “You must be so tired from giving out and giving out so much all the time.”

I returned to my room and contemplated. Some days I do feel weary. Other days I am energized. Why? So, I ran to the Father asking him to fill me with compassion. At that moment I was reminded of an important lesson. You may know this but it was a good reminder for me.

If God has us serving in roles where we give a lot, we must daily ask for a refill. Some days we forget (or at least I do). Then we become handicapped. But Jesus shows us how to do good. He relied on the power of the Spirit and tapped the Father as the Source of compassion to show us the way.