Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
The challenge came to me today to live a life of compassion. It is not a foreign concept for me intellectually, but practically I have a difficult time implementing the idea into my every day life. I know that I am to love with the eyes of Christ, eyes of mercy and grace. I know that He walked with the sick and the ugly. I know that He approached everyone as He would a child; inviting them to come sit on His lap and take a moment to fellowship with Him.
All of this knowledge, however, doesn’t so easily translate into practice. How do I start on my path to loving like Christ, the model of compassion? What do I need to do in order to obtain the title of “a life of compassion”?
In studying the Word, I came across several noteworthy verses. Galatians 6:2 says, “Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.” Further, Romans 15:1-2 states, “Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves. Each of us is to please his neighbor for his good, to his edification.”
Christ’s death on the cross set us free from our slavery to our flesh so that we would no longer live selfishly. Romans 8:2 says, “for the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death.” Our freedom from this former master has made us slaves to the law of Christ. He paid our debt and purchased our life to be used for His good pleasure. The price of our pardon makes us eternally slaves to the cross.
Slaves not by someone else’s mandate, but out of choice because of His sacrifice. I humble myself before the cross of my perfect Savior and I beg Him to show me His way. The most natural product of this is a life of compassion.
When I meditate on the cross and attempt to comprehend all that was purchased there, I am inexplicably humbled. I don’t understand how Christ could love me. I can’t grasp the idea that He chose me. He humbled Himself, giving up His throne, knowing that I would reject Him and deny Him. He knows all of my wickedness, and yet, still loves me.
At the cross, I understand grace, but even more so, I understand mercy. I know who I am and I know what I deserved. An accurate picture of my life and its merits is the only thing that will drive me to compassion. If I am to love like Christ and workout compassion in my life, I must first see that I am wretched and undeserving of what I’ve received. When I incorporate that idea into my daily actions, my love for those around me should begin to flow, as it did from Christ. He had compassion because He truly saw people for who they were. He had compassion because He knew that none of us deserved to live.
A life of compassion must be a daily bearing of one another’s burdens. Whether it be a dear friend or the person next to me in line, Christ’s love must drive me to bear another’s burden and give compassion so that I am free from the slavery to myself.