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Actions Mirror Compassion

Today’s Reflection

GENUINE COMPASSION does not consist of “just doing it,” faking it, or forcing yourself to act the way you have been told you are supposed to act. It does not mean loving your enemy despite what you feel. Instead, true compassion means your actions and interior experiences mirror one another and flow from one another. Spiritual traditions have created practices to help fill your life ever more completely with this compassion.

The process of filling our lives with compassion begins with recognizing our deep longing for this profound human experience. The longing for compassion appears in human beings whether they are part of a spiritual tradition or not. According to the Christian spiritual path, this longing is not our own desire—it is Divine Mystery, God, the eternal Source of Compassion longing through our entire being. We begin to expand compassion in our lives by engaging this Divine longing within us. We may then return repeatedly to taste this longing, allowing it to draw us ever more deeply into the Compassion at the heart of our being.

—Andrew Dreitcer, Living Compassion: Loving Like Jesus (Upper Room Books, 2017)

Today’s Question

When do you most feel a tug or a calling to show someone compassion?  Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

“If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.”
—Philippians 2:1-2 (NRSV)

Prayer for the Week

Lord, make me an instrument of your compassion.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room or share it in the comment section.

Something More

Reverend Junius B. Dotson was preaching at a funeral when suddenly he realized he wasn’t going to make it through the service. The next thing he knew, he was in an ambulance on the way to the ER, where he was diagnosed with extreme exhaustion. Read more about his Soul Reset.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.

Sponsored by The Upper Room. Copyright © 2019 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

{ 13 comments… add one }

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling September 17, 2019, 5:25 am

    When someone is in trouble or need a listening ear.

    Lord, make us instruments of your compassion!

    Blessings!

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling September 17, 2019, 9:00 pm

      Needs a listening ear

  • robert moeller September 17, 2019, 6:20 am

    I most feel the tug of compassion when I am aware of a need. Sometimes I am able to help. At other times I am not.

    Had a good day out yesterday, drove to the ocean, saw a train, walked the beach and the pier, had some pizza and later Chinese food. Made progress with my house cleaning, and watched Country Music. Thankful for this time with Erich. Face Timed with Jenny.

    Doris seemed to have a better day, not sure what is really going on. Anneliese is getting some benefit from her recent PM treatment.

    God’s love, mercy, and grace to all of you. Than You, Lord.

  • Bj September 17, 2019, 6:46 am

    Good morning UR family! During my morning’s prayers, I always say, Lord, what is Your will that You will have me to do today? “Whatever it is, Your will that I will do it right in Your name. If there is a task to form, may You give me the strength in Your name. He fix it every time. My mother is 84 years of age. I drive 2 miles daily sometimes 2x daily. Now, that is a habit I can’t resist. If car is not running, I get on bike. Just imagine a 60 year old woman trying to fit in. I love all this UR family. It is of great joy and very appreciative of the UR. Julie, you are dear to me. As long as I been looking at the reflections, I have known about the daily devotions. Enjoying all. I vividly remember when Jill and Robert’s postings were very impressed. Very early risers they use to be, Amen, to those of you, who have had death, sickness, amongst other situations in the family or self that continued to post. To all the UR family, have a blessed day.

  • Julie September 17, 2019, 8:12 am

    I feel compassion for others most of the time. Even when a need is not expressed, it is a sure bet that something or someone is on every mind.
    Prayers for BJ who is special to me as well. Prayers for your compassion for and devotion to your mother and may your car remain faithful. May I ask a nosy question that you may feel free to ignore? Where do you live? Your manner of speech reminds me of our precious Mary. You probably know that I live in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
    Prayers for the close relationship Robert shares with Erich and all of his children. A blessing from God most certainly.
    Prayers for Mary and her family and may she be filled with joy.
    Prayers for Jill and Larry on this anniversary. May both have good memories to share as well as tears.
    Prayers for physical healing for Andrea, Connie, Kathy, and Marcy.
    Prayers for emotional healing and insight for Lou.
    Prayers for April and Betsy.
    Prayers, blessings, warm hugs and thank you dear UR faithful friends.

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling September 17, 2019, 8:23 am

      Thank you Julie!

      Thank you God for making Julie an instrument of your compassion!

      May God bless Julie abundantly!

      • Julie September 17, 2019, 9:27 am

        Thank you, Mary!
        Your posts are so lyrical and uplifting.
        You raise my spirits with your joy and beautiful writing in which you poetically express your love of God.

        • Mary Ng Shwu Ling September 17, 2019, 9:40 am

          Thanks Julie!

          So are your prayers and comments!

          May we have more people like Julie in this world!

          • Andrea September 17, 2019, 12:05 pm

            Thank you, Julie.

            I strive to have compassion for people I am not fond of. I am a compassionate person by nature.

            I pray for UR friends and am thinking of Jill and Larry today, Larry’s 64th wedding anniversary. May the day be blessed for them and for all UR friends.

            We leave fro Greece today for 2 1/2 weeks, a cultural and heritage tour.

  • Anonymous September 17, 2019, 1:15 pm

    I feel compelled to show compassion when it’s someone in a situation I can relate to myself. If It’s something or someone I see repeating what I perceive to be a pattern, I am less likely to feel compassion. This is a daily struggle for me. I feel like a terrible person but, on the other hand, I have two children that depend 100% on me for their home, food, clothes, etc as I am a widow. I struggle with maintaining a Christ like balance.

  • Anonymous September 18, 2019, 1:32 am

    Larry Eugene Dyer , South Bend, Indiana….When is temporal human intervention of the spiritual realm, thus the answer is with every living breath of the human body.
    Robert have you read Bob Mulhouand(sp ?) ?
    Continued prayer request for Kathleen DeLawter and my food addiction. Let us all remember and pray for the family of Kokie Roberts upon her transfer to eternal LIFE. Also Eric Severide(sp?)
    CONTINUING PRAYERS FOR PEACE IN THE WORLD

    AMEN AND AMEN

    led……………………………..

  • Jill September 18, 2019, 3:26 am

    When I see a tear, or see an emotional look – I feel compelled to touch a person’s hand or shoulder, or offer a hug. I seem to be much more aware of people’s eyes – if there might be a deep hurt. Surely it is because of the season I have been through AND the compassion extended to me.
    Still an early riser here, its just that the current day’s reflection is not available, so I am now on the “tail end” of things.
    Met dad for dinner last evening. He got called to “drive” yesterday – he drives cars for a local dealership and Tuesday is one of the days he is on call. He was hoping he would get called. A trip over to DuBois – in your state, Julie. He had Bible study in the morning and then breakfast with one of the men from the study. Sounds like he received comfort. He seemed pretty good last night. I am grateful for his tenderness and strength.

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling September 18, 2019, 4:40 am

      Praise God for your dad’s progress, Jill!

      May God’s presence, blessings and favor be upon you, your sister and your dad!

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