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Cultivate Compassion for Yourself

Today’s Reflection

WHEN WE ARE agitated, reactive, or depleted, our inner world is in pain and need. Ignoring the state of our soul and pressing to cultivate compassion for another is not only counterproductive but also a form of interior violence. It dismisses the needs and suffering that are crying out from within us.

Forcing an open heart toward others while closing our own hearts to ourselves is as internally contradictory as screaming our way into silence, straining our way into relaxation, or battling our way into inner peace. The cry within us will only intensify and demand our attention in other ways, such as compassion fatigue, an intractable resentment, or a chronic knot in our neck.

– Frank Rogers Jr.
Practicing Compassion

From page 29 of Practicing Compassion by Frank Rogers Jr. Copyright © 2015 by Frank Rogers Jr. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Fresh Air Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

What do you do to find inner peace? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

And he said, “Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in the prophet’s hometown.”

Luke 4:24, NRSV

This Week: pray for world leaders. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section below.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers, call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center web site.

Saints, Inc.:

This week we remember: Thomas Aquinas (January 28).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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{ 11 comments… add one }

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling January 30, 2016, 3:40 am

    I talk to God, read the bible, listen to worship songs and go for a walk at the neighbourhood park in order to find inner peace.

    Thank you Father God that are many things we can do in order to find inner peace. Most of all, you always give us peace when we seek you. Thank you so much for that!

  • robert moeller January 30, 2016, 4:10 am

    I haven’t thought about this as a goal I am searching for, trying to find. I do think that I have it when I talk to God, spend time with God, and put God first. I know that only with God do I have inner peace. There are activities that divert my attention from other things, but only God helps me resolve the problems, see me through them.

    Grateful for a good day yesterday, made arrangements for a short vacation, picked up some needed model supplies, and visited Heidi. Preparations for Anneliese’s up coming surgery are being made. Thankful for a place to work on my model, food to eat, bills paid. Dinner tonight with rail fan friends after a big train show. Glad I will be in church on Sunday.

    Yes, Lord, our leaders need Your help, guidance, and support. We need these same things as we choose our new leaders. Your wisdom will help us do what is right. Thank You, Lord.

  • robert moeller January 30, 2016, 4:24 am

    I too pray for you Mary. Finding a good teaching position is a challenge. I struggled with it for most of my teaching career. My best experiences in the classroom came early, but the position did not provide the benefits needed for a family. Found positions with benefits, but the experiences in the classroom were not as rewarding. In the end I stayed for 17 years with one school system.
    I pray too for Jill as I think I share some of the same experiences having taught in an urban school. God is with you there in that school. Thanks be to God.

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling January 30, 2016, 4:57 am

      Thanks so much for your prayers and also sharing your experience. May God bless you and your family abundantly.

      Have a wonderful vacation!

  • Jill January 30, 2016, 5:34 am

    Robert – thank you for your thoughts and prayers. The challenges that exist in an inner city school have changed so dramatically in the 21 years I have been at my school. I went from teaching at a Baptist run Christian school with 250 kids k-12 for 2 years to an inner city high school with 1500 students. That was an unbelievable contrast, but I was young, eager and (perhaps like you, Robert) desperate for a job that paid sufficiently and had good benefits. It was unrealistic for me to remain at the Christian school. But, looking back of the past 21 years, the landscape has changed and become much more challenging at my school. Gratefully, I have “paid my dues” and have wonderful students this year, who want to be successful and have high aspirations. I was thinking this morning, before I got out of bed, how fortunate I was to teach under my first principal. She is responsible for the arc that my career path has taken at my school. I owe so much to her.
    Mary – I pray that God will present the opportunity that He has for you quickly – that it will be a situation that permits you to tend to your parents as well as impact the young lives that will be in your classroom.
    Today is going to be a day where I support my inner peace. I have some errands to run, am going to treat myself to a nice lunch at a restaurant I don’t get to often. I have a funeral to attend this morning, but have time to be leisurely before that. Later on will just read and relax, visit my parents this evening – taking them some treats that I get from my errands. No school work today. Time to linger this morning…how good.

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling January 30, 2016, 6:28 am

      Thanks so much for your prayers and also for sharing your experience. May God’s blessings and favour be upon you and your family!

  • Betsy January 30, 2016, 6:47 am

    My inner peace comes when I make time for quiet. Probably from years of being surrounded by lots of noise in the classroom, I now crave silence when I can. Spending this time in the early morning with God and you, my friends, also brings me peace. Jill, isn’t it a blessing that teaching affords you opportunities to change school environments? Your early teaching experience at the Christian school certainly helped to mold you and grow you into the teacher you are today, caring and passionate. Your students are blessed to have you in their lives. I had only four different school assignments over my tenure, but each taught me so much!
    Grateful today for errands to run this morning in the sunny weather, good news from a sibling and the promise of gathering for worship tomorrow.

  • Rusty January 30, 2016, 8:48 am

    I find inner peace in Jesus’ holy paradoxes (like those who lose their life for his sake will find it, and the lowly shall be exalted). I don’t think that’s the direction this morning’s reading meant to take, though. Absolutely yes, we cannot fail to have compassion for ourselves or allow our needs to be neglected as we serve others.

    Grateful that God has placed me in positions to serve family and others, yet not be worn down by sometimes hard things. Grateful to be able to find comfort and nourishment in his promises of the coming “making right of all things”. Grateful for the wisdom I receive here from thoughtful UR friends. Grateful for anticipation of an early Valentines Day dinner tonight with my dear K. Actually, it will be a full English high tea. This is at a super-popular place in our city, often booked up tight. Lucky to get in tonight and we’re really looking forward to it.

  • Joan January 30, 2016, 8:54 am

    I really needed this reading today. I’m very depleted but there are so many who are hurting right now. I’m not sure what to do next but this eases some of my guilt and reminds me how desperately I need rest. Thanks

  • Sara January 30, 2016, 10:21 am

    An interesting Reflection today and how we are to not only care for others but ourselves as well. Sometimes that can get lost in the busyness of life. I know how refreshed I feel after I take the time to have a day to myself.

    Prayers for teachers and the challenges they face and also the rewarding moments in teaching. One day I mentioned a situation to our grandson and his answer surprised me – he said some students are disrespectful to teachers, which I knew but hearing it from a young person made me realize the difficulties teachers face.

    Thankful today for sunshine and milder weather compared to last Saturday’s stormy weather, visit with a friend today and my husband, son and grandson bonding at a wrestling tournament (with our grandson doing all the hard work!!!).

    Prayers and blessings to all today who visit the UR and may God’s peace be with all as we go through the day. Amen

  • robert moeller January 31, 2016, 4:22 am

    I can certainly identify with changes in teaching, education, inner city schools, and even Christian schools after 30 years of teaching. In the last years in the classroom, I felt unprepared for some of the challenges I experienced. Thankfully No Child Left Behind has been modified, hopefully improved.
    Both of my first teaching posts were in Christian schools, but even there I found great differences, the second being far better than the first. Budgets were also a great issue in public school teaching. There was a great effort to keep teachers from gaining tenure in order to save money. In the end I am retired with a pension fund that for years has been underfunded by the state.
    Thankfully, there has been progress in changing that.

    Prayers for all who teach, The Lord be with you.

    I think something is not right as today is the 31st and this post is on the reflection for the 30th.

    Blessings on this Sunday to all.

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