Appropriate Compassion

Wednesday, Aug. 5

“You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.”—Adam Cappa, Facebook post 7/1/15. Most of us think of compromise as a negative thing. It obviously can be, but politicians have to compromise if anything gets done. Married couples have to compromise at times or the marriage falls apart. Compromise is finding a common ground that two people can accept in order to avoid hostility. Another pertinent word is “tolerance.” Tolerance is accepting a person even though you don’t agree with his position. If you succumb to it and do something that violates your convictions, that’s compromise. A good example is how to deal with someone who is homosexual. I abhor the practice, but I must love the person, something not easy to do. I think this is the core of the Cappa’s statement. Compassion is the right word. There is a time, however, where compassion may not be appropriate. Jesus was passionate with the woman caught in adultery and also with others who had gone astray—Mary of Magdala, and the profligate Samaritan woman in John 4. But He was anything but compassionate when it came to the Scribes and Pharisees. The difference is that they were both knowledgeable and hardened against the truth. Jesus very quickly could identify those with a “seeking” attitude and those who weren’t. We can err on either side of this; may we be true to the teaching of the Word.

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