So what’s next for each of us? It’s really pretty clear in today’s scripture. We are directed to clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience. Let’s look at this call upon our lives and see what each one means today.
Compassion sounds easy, but I think that is a pretty tall order some days. All these things that represent the fruit of the Holy Spirit are feelings, attitudes and actions that we need to cultivate in our lives.
What does compassion mean to you? How do you deal with little ones and big ones who can’t find their shoes, or get their boots on without your help? I know I cannot get by a day without the compassion of my wife when I can’t find my shoes, my truck keys, my cell phone and a host of other things.
But some times I struggle when a coworker needs me to do something I’ve done for them before. In the business world it is called re-work, and it’s to be avoided at all costs.
When I think of compassion, one of the first things I think about is Compassion International. This is a group that works all over the world bringing the message of Jesus Christ to families and children in emerging world countries. I am sure some of you are probably Compassion International supporters. But if you’re not, perhaps we, as a church, could adopt a Compassion Child. The cost is about $40 a month. But it is a long term commitment. Compassion tells the story of Jesus to youngsters who’ve never been ministered to before. They reach entire families and gradually bring them to understand the love of Christ.
We’re called to kindness, too. That seems like an easy one. For some of you kindness does come naturally - some of us need to exercise and grow our kindness muscle.
Kindness can mean giving of your time and energy to help others. Giving someone a ride to church is kindness. Making a phone call to one of our members who just cannot get out that often is kindness. Bringing our food bank donations is kindness. Anything putting the needs of someone else before our own is a kindness.
Humility is difficult. The world speaks against humility. Workers are told to toot their own horn. Sports stars can be pretty darned arrogant about their skills and abilities. I have this joke that I am really proud of my humility. But you know, that isn’t how it works. When we tell someone how humbly we serve, are we really being humble?
Humble means doing God’s work and expecting nothing in return. It means the satisfaction of serving others without recognition, maybe even without a thank you - just the ability to be doing God’s will - is enough.
Reminds me of an old country song. (I know doesn’t everything.) Lord its hard to be humble, when you’r perfect in every way. I can’t help but look in the mirror cause I get better lookin each day…. Yeah, I know. Silly song, and not exactly Biblical.
Is meek the same as weak? Meek is powerful without flaunting your power.