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 My mother was the most compassionate person I’ve ever met. I say this not because she was my mother but because the level of selflessness she exhibited throughout her life was something few would believe if they hadn’t seen it firsthand. She got that from my grandfather. He was the same way but more when it came to teaching the Word than going out to distribute food and clothing. He did it, too, but not as consistently or as often as my mom. I can tell you stories, but I won’t. This isn’t about that, and some would likely think I was exaggerating, but I think some of her compassionate nature got passed down to my brothers and me.

If it was, it’s nowhere near hers because while she would wake up before the crack of dawn to prepare a feast and cook breakfast for ten or fifteen people who were visiting from the States, I’d likely show them the fridge, where the pans were, and encourage them to help themselves. If you can’t crack an egg and make an omelet, you shouldn’t have a passport. That’s my take on it, excessive compassion notwithstanding.

There’s a reason all the kids in the orphanage called her mom, and to this day, some who aged out and went on to have families of their own visit her gravesite to pay their respects whenever they are in the area.

As with many other words in the English lexicon, we’ve also redefined compassion to mean something it was never meant to. This is doubly true for those in the church who attempt to cloak their cowardice with excessive and ultimately fake compassion so that their cowardice is not so readily visible.

To have compassion isn’t to excuse or validate sin, and it’s not to look the other way while the Word of God is being trampled underfoot. Rather, compassion is to show sympathy or pity for the suffering and misfortune of others. Why does this matter? Because when we are told to have compassion on some, Jude was not insinuating that we are to whitewash their lifestyle or pretend as though they are not currently in rebellion. The come as you are, leave as you came model was anathema to the primary church because the transformative power of Christ and being born again was the standard. It was the message, it was the focus, it was the faith once delivered.

Jude 22-23, “And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.”

To watch someone burn and insist they are not on fire is the antithesis of compassion. To watch someone slip-sliding toward judgment and eternal torment and not say anything about it but pretend as though their destination is something other than the obvious is not a show of sympathy but one of cruelty.

When you juxtapose what the Bible says to the actions of some spiritual leaders deemed by the world as most loving and compassionate, it’s clear that they’re not. Far from it. To the world, they may seem as such, but when you use the biblical definitions of love and compassion, you see the depths of their cold and calculated cruelty.

For the sake of prominence or some extra coin, they readily disregard men’s eternal souls or the suffering they will endure for their unwillingness to repent. It’s not loving to watch someone going to hell and say nothing. It’s not compassionate to keep your mouth shut because you might risk offending someone’s sensibilities. Yes, most will hate you for your willingness to confront their disobedience, but some will see the truth in the words you speak, and that they are spoken in love, and will repent because of it.

Jude instructs us to have compassion on some. Not on all; it’s not a tent where everyone doing everything gets shoved into, and all you’re ever known for is the world’s definition of compassion. Some have heard the gospel a thousand times, and still, their heart is not stirred. Some even grew up in Christian homes, with pastors and elders as fathers, and rejected the light for the darkness.

Be discerning enough to know to whom you ought to show compassion, and when you’re throwing pearls before swine. Be sympathetic to those who are drowning and see no way out, but when someone tries to drag you in, know when to release your hold and remain in the boat.

Jude uses the metaphor of pulling someone out of the fire, which is horrifying imagery. Whether burning or drowning, your job is to pull them out, not to get pulled in. Your job is to save their life, not lose yours.

This is why the notion of saving a drunkard by drinking them under the table or a liar by one-upping them with lies of your own was a non-starter from the beginning, even though a few years back, it was all the rage. That particular movement left a lot of carnage in its wake, and I know of people who lost their wives, husbands, families, and livelihoods because they bought into the notion that to save someone from the mire, you had to get as dirty as them.

Or, to use Jude’s metaphor, in order to pull someone from the fire, you had to jump into the flames until you were likewise alight. The purpose of the exercise is to pull someone out, not to throw yourself in. That men look for any excuse to return to their former peccadillos is another topic altogether, but try as they may to put a noble face on their disgrace, God is not mocked.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea,Jr.  

Posted on 2 September 2023 | 11:19 am

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Mike's 25 Latest Blog Posts

1. Sep 21, 2023 - Silence
2. Sep 19, 2023 - Help!
3. Sep 18, 2023 - Training
4. Sep 17, 2023 - Control
5. Sep 16, 2023 - Where To?
6. Sep 15, 2023 - Ripples
7. Sep 13, 2023 - The Wall
8. Sep 12, 2023 - The Unknown
9. Sep 11, 2023 - Firsts
10. Sep 9, 2023 - How It Ends
11. Sep 8, 2023 - Soldier On
12. Sep 7, 2023 - Who You Serve
13. Sep 6, 2023 - Aversion
14. Sep 5, 2023 - The Spectrum
15. Sep 4, 2023 - Snares
16. Sep 2, 2023 - Compassion
17. Sep 1, 2023 - Uncanny
18. Aug 31, 2023 - But You IV
19. Aug 30, 2023 - But You III
20. Aug 28, 2023 - But You II
21. Aug 27, 2023 - But You!
22. Aug 26, 2023 - In
23. Aug 25, 2023 - Timing
24. Aug 24, 2023 - Symptoms
25. Aug 22, 2023 - My Way!

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