Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Power of Compassion

Scripture Texts: Genesis 42; Genesis 43; Luke 19:41-42

Joseph had every reason to hold a grudge toward his brothers. If it had not been for them selling him into slavery, he would have never spent the time in prison. If it were not for them selling him into slavery, he would not have spent most of his life separated from his father and his family. Even though Joseph had risen to a place of great power, he was not with the people he most loved and his brothers could easily be to blame for that.

While he could have held a grudge, Joseph takes another path. Instead Joseph walks in compassion. Interestingly his brothers interpret his compassion as a trap. Perhaps this says more about the brothers than Joseph. In the end walking in compassion rather than holding a grudge allowed Joseph to not only see his family but to be reunited with them. The power of compassion was much greater than the power of a grudge.

It will not take long for two people in a relationship to experience disagreement or conflict. Whenever two people journey together in relationship there are going to be times when the actions of one, causes harm to another. More often than not the harm is not intentional, yet it is harm nonetheless. There seems to be a human tendency toward holding a grudge toward those who have caused us harm or hurt us in some way. When we hold a grudge, the result is the breakdown of the relationship. Never has holding a grudge resulted in a deeper relationship.

In a marriage there is no room for grudge holding and a constant need for compassion. Whether it is a to do list left undone, or something not cleaned, or simply just not having a good day, there will be opportunity to hold a grudge. This means there is also an opportunity to live with compassion. The choice we make at the point of opportunity will directly impact the depth and quality of a marriage.

May we be people that walk in compassion. May we be people who see what God is doing in the difficult situations and not hold a grudge toward others. May we be people who experience all that God has in store for marriage by choosing compassion over holding a grudge.

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