Keys for practically walking in love and compassion.
God has shown us His love; He has demonstrated it and He has clearly laid out His expectations of us. (I Corinthians 13:4-8, Colossians 3:12-17) So how do we practically walk in love? I believe this is a continual learning process and we are to continually grow in love and compassion.
- We must recognize that EVERYONE has value. They may not look or sound like us, but they still have value.
- The more you value someone, the more precious they become to you.
- Because we value people, we will respect them.
- We need to earn people’s respect, but I will respect the other person regardless.
- We must never attempt to control people with the threat of withholding our love.
- Give them the freedom to make their own choices. Those choices may have consequences, but they should be clearly differentiated from our love
- Allow the people in our lives to be free and be who God created them to be.
- Manipulation tries to control and restrict other people’s freedom.
- Manipulation is fear based.
- What are my expectations?
- Am I expecting something that is not realistic or theirs to carry?
- Realize that NO ONE is perfect, not even you!
- Have I clearly communicated my expectations?
- Have I listened without jumping to conclusions?
- Have I listened without preconceived ideas marring my judgment?
- Have I re-stated back to them what they are trying to communicate? (Listening exercise)
- Is my first mode judgment and correction or is it compassion and coming alongside? An answer to this question is action. If I am continually irritated by something but I choose not to come alongside something is wrong. My discomfort should lead me to a love action, a coming alongside, compassion, a desire to see them succeed. In some cases, this means JUST prayer. If we have not developed a rapport with people, we do not have access to speak into their lives. But whether it is getting involved with people or just prayer, it requires US to do something. Compassion moves us from judgment to action. It takes us out of passive to being active. Judgment is passive – you don’t do anything. Compassion cannot live in passivity.
- Judgment is not our job. Stay out of judgment.
- Judgment and discernment are two different things.
- Recognize that relationships take hard work. Patience, long suffering, working together is required.
- Be committed in your relationships.
- Don’t run at the first sign of conflict.
- Be committed to doing your part to resolve the conflict.
- Work at being in a right relationship with each other again.
- Commitment is a mindset that I have and portray.
- Their response doesn’t determine my commitment.
- Be quick to forgive.
- Ask yourself, ‘if that was me, how would I want to be treated?’
- Extend the same grace that you have received to others.
9. Find the good.
- Every person has value; therefor, you will find something good in them.
- Celebrate the good.
10. Live in joy.
- Live in joy. It is not your job to change people, so relax and enjoy life!