Today’s Scripture: Galatians 6:1
The Greek meaning of compassion is to have pity on or to deal gently with someone. Genuine compassion will not keep a person in a dependent state. Instead, it helps that person move toward independence. Sometimes, however, showing compassion involves a degree of discomfort. For example, when a doctor sets a broken bone, no matter how “gentle” he may be, there will be pain. What kind of doctor would ignore a broken bone and simply prescribe medication to ease the patient’s pain? True compassion demonstrates a balance of gentleness and firmness, and pain is often a part of the healing process.
At times our responsibility is to do more than meet a surface need. We might be called to lead a person through internal restoration. Paul instructed if someone is caught in a sin, we should “restore him gently.” In the Greek, the word “restore” means to serve as a cast that holds a broken bone in place until it is fully healed. When we look at it that way, it would almost be easier to be the one with the broken bone than the one serving as the cast, don’t you think? It takes a lot of patience to walk alongside someone who needs internal healing.
- Sometimes a medical doctor must re-break a bone so it can be set properly. If “re-breaking” a bone is necessary for someone’s spiritual benefit, how would you do that? What part would you play in the healing process?
- Who do you see needs restoration? What would it take for you to become their “cast”?