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Decide What to Do

Today’s Reflection

COMPASSION INCLUDES restorative action. Our cultivation of compassion is not complete when feelings of warm regard are experienced toward either ourselves or others. We must act out our compassion in ways that ease suffering and promote the flourishing of others. Such acts include consoling the grief-stricken, tending the wounded, and befriending those who feel forsaken. Yet actions that are genuinely compassionate often require careful discernment. What does compassion look like, for example, when the wound caused by another is still fresh or when an offender refuses to curb his or her violence and remains unrepentant?

Compassionate action must serve and sustain our own healing and restoration. …. Compassion yearns for the flourishing of all life, including our own. Our capacity for genuine compassion flows out of the strength and fullness of our vitality…

Compassionate action also invites the restoration of others. In the case of an offense against us, such restoration demands accountability. Compassion is not sentimental. Violent actions create wounds, and perpetrators must be held responsible….

Whenever you feel disconnected from your compassionate core: Catch your breath. Take your PULSE. Take the other’s PULSE. Then, and only then, decide what to do.

– Frank Rogers Jr.
Practicing Compassion

From pages 31-33 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

How does the idea of restorative action resonate with your ideas about authentic compassion? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

The LORD is king; let the peoples tremble! He sits enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth quake!

Psalm 99:1, NRSV

This Week: pray for educators. 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: Aelred of Rievaulx (February 3).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2016 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA


{ 8 comments… add one }

  • Jill February 2, 2016, 3:58 am

    There is a lot to think about in the reading above. Restorative action…authentic compassion. A relationship that has significantly changed over the past few years is a reality that is often before me. And, the other person in that relationship just lost her dog at the too young age of 3 years. A boxer, prone to heart disease, had to be put down way to early in life. Now, my once closest friend, is hurting deeply. It pains me to see her hurting so. And, yet, I feel inadequate at easing her pain. She rebuffs (my perception) my efforts to console her. When I call to check in on her, she says that she is doing ok. And, then yesterday, she comes by and is so sorrowful. I just listen and we prayed together. It is an odd dynamic and I must guard against judgmental thoughts and cynicism. These are the things that keep me from healing. A lot to ponder, meditate and pray about this AM.

  • robert moeller February 2, 2016, 4:08 am

    Perhaps there is an aspect of timing involved. The idea of compassion is always there, but it needs application at the right time. Knowing this and doing it can often be difficult. Asking God for wisdom would seem to be a good idea.

    Thankful for progress in making long term arrangements and also preparation for Anneliese’s hip surgery. Rest today and another round of appointments tomorrow. We did learn that the surgery has been moved forward 10 days. Thankful for emails and phone calls from Erich and pictures of Oona and a video of Willa from Jenny.

    Prayers for educators, teachers, they face many challenging moments everyday. Lord, help them recharge each day so as to continue helping people learn.

  • robert moeller February 2, 2016, 4:15 am

    Prayers for wisdom and cool heads as we enter the election season. Yes, stick to the issues and not other candidates. Thankful for prayers of healing, comfort, compassion, and helping hands. Thank You, Lord.

  • Rusty February 2, 2016, 6:42 am

    Jill, I believe your just being there with your friend as she processes what has happened is restorative. That, in this particular instance, may be the action she needs right now as she ponders, meditates and perhaps prays. And Robert, you are right, timing matters. Sometimes compassion (com – passion, going through someone’s season of hurt or passion with them) means submitting to God’s time passing in that person’s life. So often we fear our inaction is disobedience. Simply sitting with someone, waiting, praying and allowing the Holy Spirit to work may be our own right act of obedience.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling February 2, 2016, 7:17 am

    We can listen with compassion by trying to understand why people do what they do instead of jumping into conclusion that they are bad and also giving them another chance to change for the better by reflecting God’s grace.

    Father God, grant us the compassion of Christ and discernment before we decide what to do in difficult situations.

  • Connie February 2, 2016, 8:31 am

    Jill, such a good comment. Unconditional compassion, without judgement or cynicism. Good to keep in mind.
    Thankful today for a good night’s sleep and bad weather that is (hopefully) missing us, and February, a month of “love”.

  • Sara February 2, 2016, 11:11 am

    So thankful my friend did well with her thyroid surgery and will be released from the hospital today. She truly amazes me with her attitude.

    Jill, how my heart aches for your 3 year old friend. I grieved when I had to put my German Shepard down and it was 3 years before I was interested in another dog. Her grief is real so mourn with her and encourage her to tell you about the happy times she had with her dog – that may help her.

    Prayers for Anneliese as she awaits surgery and prayers for all visiting the UR today. May God bless your day.

  • pendrive 2gb February 12, 2016, 8:20 pm

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