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Compassion – always the right reaction

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By Dave Henning / April 5, 2019

” . . . just as you are responsible for your actions, no matter how right or wrong they are, you are also responsible for your reactions.  And compassion is always the right reaction.”- Mark Batterson

As Mark Batterson continues Chapter 2 of Primal, he talks about the concept of sympathy breakthroughs.  Jonathan Glover, who coined the term, notes that, in the context of war, acts of compassion supersede the conflict.  And eye-to-eye contact triggers most sympathy breakthroughs.  Because it short-circuits hand-to-hand combat.  As Pastor Batterson observes, you experience a sympathy breakthrough when:

  • your will to love overcomes your inclination to hate
  • proactive compassion overrides reactive anger
  • you recapture the lost parts of your soul
  • really learning to love God with all your heart occurs

In addition, Mark asserts, criticism actually can be a healthy thing.  As long as you don’t let it harden your heart, it’s possible to learn something from criticism.  Also, it keeps you grounded.

Most noteworthy, Pastor Batterson stresses the importance of taking responsibility for your actions.  As a result, pain doesn’t provide you with a free pass to say what you want to say in any way you feel like saying it.  Furthermore, you’re responsible for your reactions.  Yes, Mark contends, there’s a place for rebuking, correction, and exhorting.  However, you must carry out these things in the spirit of compassion.  Mark adds:

“In my experience, it’s much easier to act like a Christian than it is to react like one.  Anyone can put on an act.  But your reactions reveal what is really in your heart.  And if you love God with all your heart, you won’t act like it.  You’ll react like it.”

Today’s question: What Scriptures help you see and put into practice compassion as the right reaction?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Experience sympathy breakthroughs”

About the author

Dave Henning


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