Week 4 – Day 3 Compassionate Living
Focus: Experiencing God’s peace in relationships as we learn to feel and show compassion
Scripture: Spend a few moments with the Father as you prayerfully review Romans 12:9-21.
This week we’ve discussed getting self out of the way in order to experience God’s peace in our relationships. One of the ways we can do this is to consider the needs of the other person.
When I taught school I realized that kids misbehaved for a reason. Maybe things were horrible at home or maybe their best friend had just lied to them or maybe they were upset with being falsely accused. Whatever the problem, I had to look deeper than their misbehavior in order to help them. I had to understand why they were behaving the way they were.
Focus on someone you know who is “misbehaving.” List some things that person is doing that bother you. Be specific.
You have no idea what others are going through. Each person you meet may carry a heavy burden.
Pause now in prayer. Think of a person who normally bothers you, and lift this person to the Father. Ask Him to show you how to put your feelings aside and be an encouragement to this person.
Check the examples that show what it means to bless.
o Jess arrived at work early to get some things done before her fourth grade class came wandering in. When she got her classroom, the cleaning staff was just beginning to clean her room. She stormed in and said, “Couldn’t you guys have done this yesterday after school?”
o It was mid-morning on the last day for the month’s bills to be paid at City Hall. Janie was primed for the stampede of complaining customers who are always seemed to show up at her window. Today was no different. She greeted each person warmly. If they smiled, she smiled. If they frowned, she still smiled.
o Wanda was preparing supper after an exhausting day when the phone rang. She always answered the phone if her children were away from home, in case they needed her. Picking up the phone, she was greeted by the voice of a telemarketer. Wanda shouted into the receiver, I wish you people would stop calling here!”
o Doris couldn’t wait for her son to get home from school. She had some exciting news to tell him about a family trip they were planning. As Jason opened the door, she blurted, “Hey, Honey! I’m so glad you’re here!” Jason immediately retorted, “Mom, it’s so annoying when you jump on me as soon as I walk in the door!” Doris smiled, patted his arm and walked into the other room deciding to talk about it later.
Isn’t it easy to bless those who are kind to you and pleasant to be around? On the other hand, if someone is persecuting you, you are likely experiencing pain, suffering and great distress. These feelings may affect you physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well-being. It takes supernatural; power to bless those who are inflicting pain!
How often do you bless those who persecute you? Circle the number.
1 2 3 4 5
Not at all all the time
LEARNING HOW TO BLESS
Perhaps the Holy Spirit is creating a desire within you to bless others – even those who are hurting you.
Romans 12:16-21 offers excellent teaching about blessing, others. Choose five of these directives and make your own checklist. You may want to write them on a card for quick reference throughout the day.
Before you can confidently “build other up,” you must have the desire to get self out of the way and love with the love of Jesus. If blessing others becomes your goal, it becomes your ministry. Take the initiative to bless, not to curse. You will gradually move from “It’s all about me” to “it’s all about Jesus.” Building others up with blessings is more than being tolerant of others; it’s loving the way Jesus loved!
What have you learned this week that will help you deal with stressful relationships?
As you close today’s study, start your prayer time with this prayer:
Dear Father, Please show me how to love as You love. As I Grow in the process of getting self out of the way, teach me to look for ways to encourage others and help them discover Your love. I love You.