The Inheritance of Blessings II
Gary Fine – November 26 & December 3, 2017
When friendships and relationships become challenging, we struggle. Sometimes it is hard to be compassionate, sympathetic, and loving around people who are being unlovable. But we have an inheritance through Jesus. We are born again, heaven bound and have earthly benefits. We are blessed, and that blessing is an opportunity to bless others.
How do we give blessings after we have been hurt, rejected, insulted or cursed? First, we have to have Jesus in our lives. We must think of Him and have Him in the forefront of our minds. We must remember how much He suffered for us. He is our example. No deceit came from His mouth. When they hurled insults at Him, He did not retaliate. When He suffered, He made no threats. In our relationships, we should have His mindset. We should do nothing out of selfish ambition. Rather, in humility, we should value others above ourselves.
To be able to respond to others there are five character traits we should seek to have. They are sympathy, compassion, love, harmony, and humility.
To be sympathetic is to say, “Your hurt is my hurt.” The Greek word for sympathy means “to suffer with others.” When someone is grieving or going through a very difficult time, often we do not know what to say. That is okay. Sympathy is not about our words. It is the ministry of our presence. Being alongside a grieving person reveals your heart and the assurance that you are there for them.
We are also called to love one another deeply. 1 Peter 4: 8 says, “Love covers a multitude of sins.” We should never fight each other; rather, we should fight for each other.
In our relationships we need to become Courageous, Compassionate Caregivers. Compassion comes from our innermost being. It is more than caring with our hearts and our thoughts. Compassion is a much deeper emotion. It is to have a strong passion for others especially in their time of need.
The key to caring is to be humble. It is not thinking less of ourself. It is allowing God to move freely through us as dirt poured from a container flows freely through our hands. The Greek meaning for humbleness is to live as if we are not far from the ground. When we think of humbleness we should think in terms of being basic and grounded. Adam was created from dirt. We are all Adam’s offspring. When we consider our blessings, we should not become prideful. Who we are, and what we have are all gifts from God. And for all these blessings, He should get the glory.
In a world filled with hurting people and of people who hurt others, these qualities of love, compassion, sympathy, and humility may seem hard to attain. However, we should consider the words of C. S. Lewis who said, “To live like a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in us.” So to have a ministry of reconciliation, to strive to bring people into a relationship with a loving Christ, we must demonstrate love. Retaliation can destroy relationships. In a controversy, people may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel. That is why Jesus taught us to do good to those who hurt us. A loving nature can move relationships from the negative to the positive in many instances. To have this kind of nature we must ask the Lord to give us more strength to be like Him. We will be challenged. Therefore if we practice being merciful each day, we can be ready for these challenges when they come.