Genuinely compassionate action for enemies, even those who harm us, grows as we imagine ourselves sharing in Jesus’s experience of offering compassion even as he suffered. We experience what Jesus experiences. The Christian spiritual traditions describe this as becoming the image of Christ or entering into union with God. Although many people have thought of “union with God” as disengaging from life in the world, Christian compassion practices show the opposite: The deeper the union with God, the more deeply we engage life in the world, offering compassion even to those we experience as enemies. Through that compassion, enemies become reconciled, “in peace” with one another.
—Andrew Dreitcer, Living Compassion: Loving Like Jesus (Upper Room Books, 2017)
In what situations could Christian compassion guide you toward peace with others?
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[Jesus said,] “I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.”
—Luke 6:27-28 (NRSV)
Prayer for the Week
God, give us compassion and humility in our hearts. Let us be kind, gentle, generous, loving, giving, and forgiving wherever we may go. Amen.
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(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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