Christine Aroney-Sine: Nurture Compassion

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But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Luke 6:35

“The three most important ways to nurture compassion are modeling, surrounding ourselves with people who regularly practice compassion, and coming face-to-face with people who need our care. Without role models to guide us, face-to-face encounters to prompt us, and encouragement to reach out and be kind, the impulse shrivels and dies. In our overprotective society where we don’t want our kids fraternize with the “wrong crowd,” adults often discourage children from being compassionate to outsiders, especially to those at the margins. We hasten this turning away by protecting our kids from exposure to pain and suffering. Unfortunately, we deaden our compassion and desire to be kind, especially to those outside our family or community.”

Christine Aroney-Sine in The Gift of Wonder: Creative Practices for Delighting in God (Downers Grove: IVP, 2019) 171.

Modeling. On this exploration of compassion, think about the most compassionate person you know. Sit down with that person and ask him or her about their journey. Find out what factors shaped that trait in their lives. Discover one thing you can share with others about this person.

Surrounding. Resolve to spend time with people who regularly practice compassion. Determine one thing you can jettison from your schedule and add a rhythm of investing time with such people. Follow their example. Be open to changing the way you live.

Coming. God did not send help; He came. We get to do likewise. Come face-to-face with people who need care on a repeated basis this year and see how it transforms your life. We have to nurture compassion to add this trait to our generosity. This is how my travel impacts me.

Speaking of travel, I fly to Tokyo today and then Jakarta to speak at two days of meetings with Anjji Gabriel, GTP Regional Facilitator for South East Asia and Ruthie Cristobal, GTP VP for Partnership and Communications. Pray for God to stir of movement toward faithfulness in Indonesia.