Tenderness is Fearlessness
Apathy is to indifference as tenderness is to compassion.
When you look at Christ the King, you see the tendency toward tenderness. It is upside-down in man’s world but right-side-up in God’s world. A true measure of courage is willingness to be tender when compassion demands it. Inability to be tender is fear — of man, of appearances, or of reality, which hides an even deeper fear of responsibility.
Ouch! I’m killing myself here. Intimacy with people is not my strong suit. But I know it’s reachable because, “I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13). And He says that His character, which includes recognizing pain and acting with compassion, can be formed in me.
What would show the world that a man’s heart is free to respond to the Holy Spirit? Answer: tenderness. To show tenderness he must add timeliness, and to his timeliness he must add toughness, for the time to act does not respect circumstance. God’s man, like his King, only concerns himself with meeting the need.
These are some of the bigger questions I have wrestled with myself. Maybe you, like me, have not graduated from the school of compassion. As a young man, I actually trained myself not to feel to survive. I fought the feelings battle. It’s become a life habit. I am learning how to be tender, to be fearless in Christ. And I’m discovering that this compassion and tenderness costs me very little. Yet it accomplishes so much in the lives of others when I simply have the courage to act on it in faith. This keeps my willingness to risk high.
Father, you know my struggle with compassion. Thank you for reminding me of the compassion you had and have for me.