A Gushing Compassion

May 23, 2014

Earlier this week, maybe Monday, a friend posted an article chronicling the regrets of those facing death.

Morbid, I know. But also fascinating. And although I’m not anywhere near a deathbed, facing the fragility of life over these past few years has led me to agree with at least one regret populating that list:

Withheld forgiveness and grace.

There will come a time—maybe today, tomorrow or some distant day in the future—when all those grudges you nurse and hurts you can’t shake suddenly appear petty. And your lack of forgiveness nothing but foolish. Oh I’ve been there, and I can tell you it’s just not worth it. Like a disease you can’t wait to shed, you’ll wonder why you hung onto it for so long.

Wednesday, while on a long run, I listened to an Insight For Living podcast. About ten minutes in, preacher Charles Swindoll said the below words. Their profundity struck me such I almost stopped running. I’ve replayed that one-minute selection several times since.

I will not belabor this post. The point isn’t what happens here, but what happens after you finish reading.

Please, please. Let’s do something different. Rather than rushing to judgments, rather searching for flaws and reasons to be disappointed and disillusioned in the failures others, let’s gush compassion. Let’s allow for details we can’t see, for the hidden that might be driving the obvious. Let’s search for the story behind the story and gush fountains of compassion instead.

The beauty of compassion offered? The gift of it comes back around. No one goes to her grave regretting compassion.

“One man says, ‘No man knows the strength of another man’s temptations. The man with the placid and equitable tempermant knows nothing of the temptation of the man whose blood is a fire and whose passions are on a hair trigger … The man brought up in a good home and in Christian surroundings knows nothing of the temptation of the one brought up in slum or in a place where evil stalks abroad. The man blessed with fine parents knows nothing of the temptations of the man who has the load of a bad heredity on his back.

The fact is if we realized what some people have to go through, so far from condemning them we would be amazed they have succeeded in being as good as they are.’

It is amazing, men and women, it is amazing when you just take time in the process of restoring to hear where your brother or sister is coming from. Your compassion gushes.”

—Charles R. Swindoll, “If You’re Serious About Simple Faith, Stop This!” March 31, 2014

Who needs an downpour from you? 

Rather than rushing to judgement (1)

12 Comments

  1. Leary Gates

    Love it Michele. Great post. I have to remind myself that when I lack compassion for others, I’ve forgotten to practice gratitude for the grace I’ve received in my own failings. Continuing here to pray for you.

    Reply
    • Michele Cushatt

      This is one of those truths I have to remind myself of OFTEN. Thanks, Leary.

      Reply
  2. Sundi Jo

    Awesome and convicting. Thanks so much.

    Reply
  3. Renee Swope

    This.is.powerful. And immediately God brought someone to mind. A relationship where I’ve been deeply hurt; where protective anger threatens to bubble up within me. And now. Hmm. I see this is a place where He is asking me to gush not frustration but compassion. Ugghh. {that’s just my honest first response}

    You of all people can teach this truth…. because you live it. And I will follow His lead through you.

    Reply
    • Michele Cushatt

      Oh goodness, I’ve been there. So hard to let it go, when it feels deep and personal. I keep thinking of a couple instances when someone rushed to judgment about me, having no idea what was happening behind the scenes. I would’ve done anything for a little ‘benefit of the doubt.’ That helps temper my responses. Not entirely, haha. But a little. 😉

      Reply
  4. Lily Kreitinger

    TOTALLY agree with this. We don’t know the burdens others carry. Their behavior is just a symptom of deep issues what would make us weep.

    Reply
    • Michele Cushatt

      Seeing the “behavior” as a product of pain, not simply evidence of a lacking. Thanks, Lily.

      Reply
  5. Danna Demetre

    Such an important reminder. When faced with a huge betrayal years ago and the choice to forgive…or NOT. In my mind, I saw Jesus hanging on the cross and looking down at ME. Never once did He say, “Danna, I can’t forgive you for that thing you did ten years ago, or that thing you did last week, or the most awful thing you will do next year.” He never held back His forgiveness for the smallest or biggest of my offenses. In that moment – I knew why I had to forgive and not look back. So happy that I did. We celebrate 30 years of marriage very soon!

    Reply
  6. Ray

    A few more tears. So important and well said. Thanks!

    Reply
  7. Jackie

    Can you resend this post to me, maybe… once a month?

    Reply

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