I had never given the idea of compassion much thought until a few months ago when in the midst of a friend’s crisis, I felt gut wrenching pain and realized, for the first time, this was what true compassion felt like.
In the classic allegory The Pilgrim’s Progress, the main character, Christian, tumbles into the miry bog, the “slough of despond,” and struggles to get free. But the heavy burden on his back pulls him in deeper, and he begins to sink.
This image pictures what it feels like when we’re sinking in difficult circumstances—when our debts outweigh our income, when past hurts won’t heal, when discontentment marks our relationships, and when the light of heaven seems distant and dim. Discouragement, despondency, pain, suffering—these miry pits along life’s journey can pull us down into our own “slough of despond.”
Christian’s rescue came by the hand of a fellow traveller named Help...and the same is true for you today. Use these resources to find healing for your own life...or to minister help to those you find along life’s journey.
For the rest of the missions trip, I thought about Jesus' ministry and the compassion He must have felt for the many people He encountered. People He taught, healed, and those who desperately cried out to Him.
Being compassionate or not is all about what you look at and see. The fact that we don't like seeing pain makes compassion difficult, but compassion only occurs in the context of another's pain.
Good or bad things can be stressors therefore stress is unavoidable. Anything that stresses one aspect of our being affects our total being.
Many marriages shipwreck when crisis strikes, but devastation can be avoided. Here are a few insights I've learned through personal experience and by watching other couples.
We are imperfect people living among other imperfect people in an imperfect world. That has numerous effects.
Until we are finally in the presence of God with all His saints we will never get rid of all loneliness; it is an inescapable part of life. But we can control it.
Conflict per se isn't necessarily bad. But we have a problem when conflict stems from, is expressed with, or remains unresolved, because of sinful motives, attitudes, or actions.
I am convinced that few weapons are more important in fighting discouragement and difficulty these days than a good sense of humour. Laughter, stress, and worry cannot co-exist for long.