In the early morning hours on November 30th I heard the Holy Spirit whisper, "Compassion".
I'm learning that when God speaks a word that is a fruit of the Spirit, testing will come. Over the past couple of weeks I've had plenty of opportunities to be offended: the war in Israel, family, a friend, the inhumane treatment of pets that seems to be rampant these days and more.
The first test, insult with profanity, caught me off guard. I recognized the enemy behind it but responded too quickly with a rebuke instead of just responding with compassion. A person who consistently responds in anger is in pain, they need compassion.
The outcome of the next lesson was also unexpected and was during communication with a friend that started well but ended in offense. The subject matter was our responses to others, no matter how profane and insulting...always responding with love. We have all fought to overcome negative patterns of behavior in our lives which requires the help of the Holy Spirit as we partner with Him in the transformation process. In communicating with others, if we still have negative behavioral patterns operating in our lives, it will greatly effect how we receive and respond to the communication of others...whether it's directed specifically to us or not. We do this unconsciously and the enemy takes full advantage. The result is chaos and division in our relationships. We need compassion.
In regards to our responses to the inhumane actions and behaviors we see in the world around us today that deeply disturb and offend us, we have to remember to redirect our focus to Jesus who gave us instructions in His word for responding:
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
(James 1:2-4 NIV)
In conclusion, I believe the Holy Spirit was giving me the answer to the correct response to offense - "Be Compassion". Shalom!
Love in Christ!
Be Compassion / 2023
Mixed Media Collage On Canvas
11" X 14"