Charity Toward Others and Healthy Relating

Compassion, mercy, and forgiveness are essential for healthy relationships.  We become the hands and feet of the Lord by relating to others the way He relates to us. Compassion, mercy, and forgiveness are essential for healthy relationships.  We have to start from receiving the compassion of the Lord and in order to really do so I have to be compassionate toward myself.  If not, I’ll just deflect the Lord’s love.  That’s not selfish or narcissistic.  It’s taking on the mind of Christ who is compassion itself!  It’s authenticity and honesty, but fully embracing His stance of compassion toward ourselves.

We can learn to express compassion in our daily interactions.  It doesn’t need to be complex or complicated.  It just requires really acknowledging the other person by paying attention to them as individuals and giving those extra couple of seconds to treat them as humans with dignity for even a moment or two.  These things are very evangelistic or ‘pre-evangelistic’.

When we start from such a place, we’ll see the profoundly healing effects in what would otherwise be complicated circumstances.  To operate out of compassion for others we need to have the freedom that comes from not operating out of our own concern for ourselves because our needs have first been satisfied to overflowing by the Lord.

Understanding the principles we all need to have – being valued as individuals, known as good, and our boundaries respected – we can operate very fluidly and confidently.  We start without fear because we understand what is needed and so we don’t have inordinate fear. Changing how we relate to ourselves changes our mode of operation to one of compassion that naturally overflows.  In this way, the Lord’s love can flow not just into us, but through us.  We become the hands and feet of the Lord by relating to others the way He relates to us.

All of this is a process!  It’s a beautiful, life-giving flow of receiving His love, internalizing that and relating to myself with greater compassion and then allowing that to flow out to those I meet each day.  We are able to relate out of love rather than fear.

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