People Are Hurting…It’s Time For Compassion Not Pride

Originally Posted Monday, September 12, 2011

Holy Spirit has been revealing sinful pride in my heart lately and it’s been hurting “so good”! I’m learning as a young pastor that people all around us are wrestling and hurting from their own sin and from being sinned against…even as I wrestle and hurt from my own sins. When it comes to following Jesus, entering into people’s “wrestling and hurting” can be risky. But if I’m looking at people with God’s concern and not my own, is it really being risky?

I’m seeing time and time again that I have to have “thick skin” when entering people’s pain. Whether it’s guys who don’t want to hang, call or text back anymore or receiving sharp remarks from others, I can’t take any of this personally.  Sometimes I wonder why God would use me as a shepherd to enter others pain when I’m soft in taking shots from people and being disappointed. I’m far too easily hurt and take things way too personal.

“If you’re not full of Jesus…over time you will develop a bitterness and resentment towards the people you’re serving…then you will check out in ministry though you’re in ministry,” says one of our Oversight Pastors. I thought he was talking directly to me when he shared that in our staff meeting!

I was so convicted! I began to look back and see the underneath frustrations I’ve had with people deep down in my heart (where no one sees) over the years and even now.

I’ve been discouraged by some who don’t meet with me over the things of God anymore. I’ve been discouraged by investing in some and not even a simple phone call or text back is received. I’ve been crushed when being accused of not caring. All of this is a form of sinful pride on my part…as if it’s all about me and my feelings. It’s not! It’s all about God’s righteousness, peace, and joy coming to the people around me…and it takes God and His timing to bring this.

In the meanwhile, the Lord has allowed me to see right through my own pride and others discouraging responses and pursue them with a tenacious love that doesn’t care anymore about my feelings. I want people to want Jesus! And when this doesn’t happen in “my timing”…the compassion to pursue people must be poured on thick like molasses…not water. Pride in me must be killed…compassion for others must grow strong! This is where my battles are fought daily.

Be encouraged to choose love over fear.

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us – I John 4:18, 19

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