One of my former pastors regularly preached about hurt people, hurting other people. Whenever you are betrayed, deeply hurt, let down and wounded, it takes time to heal. If someone rubs you the wrong way or is unrelentless about pressing you on an issue, you may reach a breaking point before exploding. This may explain why people close their heart to compassion.
But if anyone has this world’s goods (resources for sustaining life) and sees his brother and[m]fellow believer in need, yet closes his heart of compassion against him, how can the love of God live and remain in him? – 1 John 3:17
If you watch enough movies or streaming services, you will find a character who is jaded about a past experience. This one event may cause someone to develop barriers that prevents them from ever becoming vulnerable again. This fear of being hurt shows up in Matt Damon’s character in Good Will Hunting. Yet, the Bible is calling readers to open their hearts to compassion.
For if you forgive people their trespasses [their [g]reckless and willful sins, [h]leaving them, letting them go, and [i]giving up resentment], your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their trespasses [their [j]reckless and willful sins, [k]leaving them, letting them go, and [l]giving up resentment], neither will your Father forgive you your trespasses, Matthew 6:14-15.
Jesus provides a good reason to open your heart to compassion in the passage above. In the middle of his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus unveils a condition for forgiveness. Like the Sowing Principle, if you forgive others, God will forgive you. However, if you close your heart to compassion, God will withhold his compassion from you. May these words bring healing and inspire you to open your heart to compassion.
by Jay Mankus