God has truly given me favor because I have been blessed to have a wonderful extension of family and friends. Kristy Joi Downing, our guest blogger for the week, is certainly counted among them.
Kristy specializes in intellectual property law and has a practice in Michigan so be sure to look her up (www.Kjdowninglaw.com). However, what's most important is that Kristy is a mighty woman of God who gives us much to reflect upon in for this week's devotion about love and compassion. Be sure to leave a comment and show her some love!
Christ taught “ 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40. In addition, in Matthew 7:12 Jesus taught the Golden Rule: “do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”
Sometimes it is possible to miss the sight of the forest because we have become too concentrated on the trees. Focusing on our differences can cause us to lose sight of the most compelling premise of our faith – compassion.
One might ask some of the following questions:
1)What if you went into your local Starbucks and they criticized your drink selection, treated you oddly for the way you were dressed and/or belittled you for your ignorance of coffeehouse protocol? How often would you return?
2)What is your reaction to criticism versus your reaction to love and compassion? What then should we expect the reaction of others to be when we criticize versus demonstrating love? Was it love or criticism that encouraged you to accept Christ into your heart?
3)Why is compassion for each other so important? Is there something special about being committed to loving the people around you? 1 Cor 13:13 “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
4)How is it that this principle can be the foundation and summation of all other laws/commandments? Ask yourself, “Do I treat it as such?” How can we focus on compassion being the primary aspect of our individual ministries?
5)Where we lack love there is fear. But that fear – irrespective of what it regards – is not God-sent. 2 Timothy 1:7.
While the tooth-for-a-tooth mentality yields anxiety, operating in love yields liberty and peace with God. Consider growing this week through love and compassion. Just as we cannot fully repay Christ for his sacrifice, look to share love and compassion with someone who cannot fully repay you.
Kristy Joi Downing