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Clothed with garments of understanding

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By Dave Henning / March 11, 2019

“Who do you want standing near you in those moments dripping with disappointment and saturated with sorrow? . . .  It’s those clothed with garments of understanding.  They have personally experienced that his life between two gardens can sometimes make it excruciatingly painful to be human.”- Lysa TerKeurst

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.”- Colossians 3:12

Lysa TerKeurst concludes Chapter 5 of It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way as she stresses there’s only one way to stand before people.  With compassion.  Thus, Ms. TerKeurst defines compassion as an awareness that everyone fears the imperfections carved deeply into our exposed, naked selves.  As a result, we all cover up.  And we get stripped bare when wins turn into losses.

Consequently, in such moments we surely don’t want people standing near us who don’t know the whole story.  People, Lysa notes, who drape themselves in gold-plated pride with mouths eager to offer unsolicited commentary and advice.  Instead, the author emphasizes, we need people clothed with garments of understanding.

Hence, Lysa explains what happens when people see the compassion of the Creator in us:

” . . .. when the enemy sees us he shakes with fear.  He isn’t scared of the judgmental soul shellacked with a fake sense of perfection.  But the compassionate soul who has hurt deeply and come out loving?  Yes, she is one of the superstars of God’s grand story, and the one you want near you in the battles of life.”

Finally, Ms. TerKeurst exhorts, simply show up with God’s life-giving truth.  As a result, don’t:

  • try to be perfect
  • pretend it’s even possible
  • apologize or strategize
  • minimize that you’re crushing fear and judgment with everything you do

People must know God’s compassion is alive and well, that redemption’s more than just a word.

Today’s question: What life events clothed you with garments of understanding?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Disappointment – lingering a little too long”

About the author

Dave Henning


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