Recently, I had a problem and I knew exactly what to do. I had the book chapter and verse of everything I was to do filled with examples from the bible and from everyday life. I was fully armed and ready to engage in hand to hand combat to defend my cause. But my heart was pounding, not with excitement for the task at hand. I could feel that doing the right thing, may not have been the right thing but I wasn’t sure why? Have you ever been there?
I looked to my seniors for insight, they would encourage me. So, I called an old Rabbi and explained my situation. I told him everything. EVERYTHING! I can honestly say I didn’t hold anything out and that I didn’t just say the stuff that would make him side with me. (After all, my problem really wasn’t a problem in my house.) I explained what had occurred, how often the issue had been addressed and all sides of the situation. When I was finished, I dropped the mic and eagerly awaited his approval.
He asked if I left anything out. I said with full confidence and a clear conscience, “No, Sir. That’s everything.”
He began by telling me, I was absolutely correct in everything I had thought to do and say. He was encouraged my understanding of the Scriptures and said it was nice to see that I was not manipulating the Scriptures to prove my point. And then he said, “You cannot do that.”
“What?” What did I miss? He told me my thought process was correct, didn’t he? That I had a proper understanding of the Scriptures, right? So, what did I miss? More importantly, what did he miss?
Then he began to teach me a thing called compassion. He reminded me of a woman who had been caught in adultery and how Yeshua could have joined in on the condemnation but instead, He displaced mercy and compassion. (John 8:3-11)
That was something I had forgotten. I had forgotten to display one of the most important things we all need, Compassion. How could I forget the one thing that is so important when interacting with people?
I forgot because I didn’t want to show compassion, I wanted to bring the pain, drop the hammer. I began to think about other things I have said and done in similar situations. Often, I knew I was completely justified in my use and explanation of biblical principles, but I wondered how many times I would have spoken differently if I were using more biblical principles to teach and help others. I had to repent, not for misusing the Bible, but forgetting that in anger God remembers mercy and compassion.
He remembers that we’re frail and at our best and strongest moments, we couldn’t withstand a blast of anger. I forget sometimes that it is Yah’s mercies that we’re not consumed. Unfortunately, I have often been so bent on being right, I have forgotten that truth is not always enough, but that I must remember mercy.
I wonder how many people I pushed away from God because I simply forgot to show mercy. I forgot to temper my words with compassion.
How much more effective would we be at influencing the lives of others for a greater relationship with God, if we remembered to be more like Him? How many more people would have been instrumental in improving the quality of our lives, if they simply spoke with the compassion we all need?
I have a rule, do nothing I have to repent for. But it’s amazing how I can do the right thing incorrectly because I forget that compassion is a powerful tool to encourage development.
By the way, I took the advice of the Old Rabbi. And the situation turned out exactly how I thought it would. But I gave my thoughts according to the Scripture in a way that reflected the mercy and compassion of God. Did the people take my advice and counsel? No, they blow me off. But guess what? I will not be condemned for what other people do or do not. I will give an account for what I do. You will give an account for what you do. Let’s make sure we are not only doing the word of God but doing it with compassion and mercy. It takes more that truth to reflect the Truth of God.