I love Jesus.
I love Jesus with an all consuming, Agape love.
Agape-Greek- (1)Indicates a choice to serve God, to love neighbor, to accept self without expecting something in return (2) unselfish commitment See 1 Corinthians 13:1-13
I truly believe that no man is capable of Agape love without first establishing a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and then dedicating your life to Him.
And I want everyone I know to experience that kind of love and affection. It is truly supernatural. And amazing.
But I digress. Ok, so I love Jesus. I am passionate about Him. I am passionate about sharing His Word.
...in my car.
The "R U 4 Him" bumper sticker.
The "God is my co-pilot" bumper sticker. (although I never understood that one anyway... isn't God our Pilot?)
Why? I am an aggressive driver. I don't appreciate people tailgating me. Do not cut me off. And for goodness sakes, don't even think about going less then the clearly posted speed limit in front of me while boasting "I May Be Slow But I Am In Front Of You".
In the last month or so, God has really been speaking to me about humility. About being humble. About how I need to address this whole pride issue.
When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.
Proverbs 11:2 NIV
I have really come to see how devastating and destructive my pride is. And not only in my walk with God, but in the person I am representing myself to be.
No one can see Jesus in me if I am full of myself.
And safe in my car, no one knows me. No one knows my verbal dedication to Jesus. So they can't judge me when I pass them because they are going 56 in a 55.
But He does.
When I look back at anyone that has ever earned my respect, I have understood they all have one thing in common.
In my quest to change who I have become-in my desire to learn all I can about being humble and practicing humility... I have been confronted with the need to address one more attribute.
I don't like to talk about compassion. Mostly because of my total lack of it.
Growing up selfish and totally self centered totally consumed the area of my heart where compassion was supposed to reside.
I have never really admitted that because it is not something that you go around telling people. And if you do perchance choose to tell others about your totally unsympathetic and unmerciful heart, you are not likely to solicit a warm response. But I thought I could hide it. I thought I could fake it.
If I am ever going to teach my children to behave in humility, it must go hand in hand with compassion. There are interlinked. You cannot have one without the other.
Do you really know what compassion is? I know I don't.
This is Wikipedia's description:
Compassion is a profound human emotion prompted by the pain of others. More vigorous than empathy, the feeling commonly gives rise to an active desire to alleviate another's suffering. It is often, though not inevitably, the key component in what manifests in the social context as altruism. In ethical terms, the various expressions down the ages of the so-called Golden Rule embody by implication the principle of compassion: Do to others as you would have done to you. Ranked a great virtue in numerous philosophies, compassion is considered in all the major religious traditions as among the greatest of virtues.
Are you already on board? Do you already know what compassion feels like and have no problem modeling it for your children? Answer the following questions and see:
Have you ever and do you regularly:
1. Open the door for others and allow them to go first?
2. Smile and say "Good Morning, Good Afternoon, Good Evening" to those you meet?
3. Sat 'thank you' for small courtesies.
4. Compliment someone for a job well done.
5. Return the shopping cart to its holding bin before leaving the parking lot.
6. Send thank you notes-maybe to a public official or a distant relative who remembers your birthday.
7. Do something kind for someone anonymously.
8. Keep fast food certificates in your car to give to folks asking for help.
9. Add "God Bless You" to your goodbyes.
10. Pick up the trash on the sidewalks.
11. Put coins in a meter thats expired.
12. Learn the name and a fact about the folks you see every day.
These are just small acts of compassion and self-lessness. But, they often lead to bigger ones.
Acting with compassion is a choice until we make it a habit.
Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Thanks for bearing with me through this little journey of self discovery. If you are so inclined, please pray that I may grow in God's grace and compassion for me...so that I may learn how to model it for my children.
And by the way, I fully intend on buying a fish symbol for the back of my car. I think its time!
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