August 2012
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Winners And Losers

As the NFL playoff game ended and the Green Bay Packers celebrated their victory over the Chicago Bears, my daughter Lisa noticed that her little girl, 4-year-old Eliana, was crying. That seemed odd, since neither of Eliana’s parents particularly cared who won the game.

When Lisa asked Eliana why she was crying, she said, “I feel sorry for the Bears. They look so sad.”

Can we learn something from a preschooler about compassion? In a world where winning is so important and losers get rejected, forgotten, and maligned, we need this reminder: People need compassion. When we see others struggling with a loss are we willing to shed tears with them, put our arms around them, and offer to help?

A number of Scripture passages challenge us to treat others with compassion. Philippians 2:1-3 tells us to think of others above ourselves, looking out for their interests—not just ours. First Peter 3:8-12 reminds us that compassion means treating others “as brothers,” and Colossians 3:12-15 says that mercy, kindness, and humility are marks of those God has redeemed.

Look around you. See anyone going through a difficult loss? Go beyond feeling bad for them. Reach out with compassion and God’s love.

Lord, grant me a heart of compassion
So burdened for others’ needs,
That I will show them Your mercy
In attitudes, words, and deeds. —Fitzhugh
One measure of our likeness to Christ is our sensitivity to the suffering of others.