I interpret ‘having the mind of Christ’ to mean that I must think like Him and love like Him. I love the story of how Jesus was moved to open the eyes of the blind man when he cried out, “son of David have mercy on me.” (Luke 18:38). Jesus’s compassion had action; he opened the blind man’s eyes. Surely that is what we are called to do for those around us; to take action, to open their eyes? In our broken humanity and our desire to obey the command to love our neighbour as ourselves, does our compassion sometimes become self-focused?
Do we seek to do the thing that makes us feel best, even if that means our neighbours eyes remain firmly closed? Do we take the path of least resistance, seeking to show love in a way that we feel comfortable with and which shows us in a ’good light’, even if that means re-visiting how we interpret scripture?
When faced with difficult situations within our churches, where we see people walking outside of God's will for their lives, the action of opening their eyes may require a very difficult conversation, but that conversation may well be the only compassionate thing to do. We need to distance ourselves from what has become a somewhat literal interpretation of the verse that says, “do not judge lest you be judged”, and see our conversation for what it is, a conduit for God's compassion to flow through us and awaken the sinner to their sin.
Or is it easier to continue to think in the frailty of our human thought patterns, empathising with our brother or sister, blaming God for their predicament, seeking alternative interpretation of scriptures which we have held to in the past, in a misguided attempt to justify their actions?
I know that I am made in God's image and that he is a God of compassion. I recognise that in all things God's ways are higher than mine, and that tells me that his compassion cannot be surpassed by me. If I trust in what His word says, I trust that being obedient to His word results in the best possible outcome for each of us. That should be my goal, my purpose, when showing compassion to others. Is what I'm saying to them reflecting my compassion, or is it reflecting the compassionate nature of God, whose desire it is that all would be saved?