Compassion . . . Towards Those Who Wrong Us

Reading: Matthew chapter 18 verses 15-35
During the course of the past year, we have witnessed some remarkable acts of human compassion. As the pandemic spread, we learned how ‘to suffer together’; sadly, however, we have also discovered that ‘one sinner destroys much good’, Ecclesiastes chapter 9 verse 18.

God’s COMPASSION is unlike our own, Jeremiah, an Old Testament prophet, declared, ‘Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His COMPASSIONS fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness’, Lamentations chapter 3 verses 22-23. The Psalmist wrote, ‘But You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth’, Psalm 86 verse 15. His compassions are consistent – they do not ebb and flow.

In the New Testament, we see divine compassion displayed to perfection in a Person – Jesus Christ. A leper, a demoniac, two blind men and a widow were among the many, who experienced His compassion. Charles Wesley wrote,

Jesus, Thou art all COMPASSION, pure, unbounded love thou art.

On one occasion Peter asked Jesus how many times he should forgive his brother, who had wronged him. He asked if seven times was sufficient. He was prepared to show compassion towards him but, like so many of us, he wanted to put a limit on it. Jesus’s response made him think again: ‘I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven’, Matthew chapter 18 verses 21-22. This reply and the parable that followed it, revealed that forgiveness and COMPASSION is limitless as far as God is concerned. We owe an immense debt to Him that we can never hope to repay; yet, such was His COMPASSION toward us that it led Him to cancel it. This should motivate us to SHOW COMPASSION TOWARDS THOSE WHO WRONG US!