Our theme for this month: “Take care of each other”
Our Bible verse for today: “Be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.” Luke 6:36 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Treat others with kindness, mercy, and compassion – even if they don’t deserve it.”
Perhaps the greatest example of mercy and compassion that I have ever personally witnessed occurred in Spring Valley, CA in 1997. I was the Pastor of Bancroft Baptist Church. Bob and Carol were members of our church and they were in their early 70s. They had been married for almost forty years at that time, but Carol was Bob’s second wife. Bob’s first wife had been a fussy and angry woman who was not a good wife to Bob or a good mother to the children. Theirs was a short and stormy marriage that ended with her abandoning Bob and the children and going off to begin a new life with another man.
Over the decades that followed, the first wife remained fussy, unhappy, and mean. She continued to cause pain, heartache and trouble for Bob and their children all throughout the decades, right up until the end of her life. Which is where today’s story begins.
By the time that woman was in her 70s she was old, alone, and deathly sick with terminal cancer. She had alienated everyone in her life and it appeared that she would die alone in a nursing home. But Bob and Carol were strong Christians and although the first wife was still a mean-spirited shrew, Carol told Bob that she wanted to bring her into their home and care for her so that she didn’t die alone. And that is what they did.
For months Carol kindly and gently took care of her. She fed her, bathed her, changed her diapers, and spent many hours talking to her and praying with her. It was an indescribable act of kindness, compassion, mercy, and Christian love.
As Christians we ourselves are the recipients of grace and mercy from our heavenly Father. The love and forgiveness He has extended to us is completely unmerited and mindboggling in scope. Now He calls us to be kind, merciful, and gracious towards others.
I encourage you to consider who God has brought into your world who you could minister to with some act of kindness and compassion today. It doesn’t have to be through some great act like I described above. Small acts of kindness are important too. You will bless that person, it will inspire and motivate others to similar acts, and it will greatly please your Father in heaven.
Treat others with mercy, kindness, and compassion – even if they don’t deserve it.