“Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude. (1 Peter 3:8. NLT)
This is a plea that we continue to risk the pain of caring. Of seeing and hearing things that break our hearts so that compassion can bleed through the cracks. My friend and worship leader Travis Cottrell said something recently I can’t get off my mind: “It hurts so bad to love so much.” Yes, it does. And one way we’ll know if we’re continuing to take the risk of loving is if we’re sharing the burden of hurting.
As the world grows colder and colder and we’re tempted to get harder and harder, we’ve got to be willing to draw from our Source. Psalm 116:6 tells us “our God is full of compassion.” Lamentations 3:22-23 tells us His “compassions never fail. They are new every morning.” God’s compassion is always full, never fails, and is ever new. The sun rises every morning on all the manna of mercy we’ll need that day to make it. Even the manna we’ll need to help someone else make it. Sometimes we just sit and listen. Other times we weep while they weep. Still other times they demand a word from us.
Read 1 Peter 3:8 again. What in the world does being humble have to do with being compassionate? True compassion comes from the open admission that we, too, have known pain and weakness.
(Beth Moore, Voices of the Faithful compiled by Kim P. Davis, taken from pages 359-361)