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MEETINGS

Monday, November 18

All of you have . . . tender compassion.​—1 Pet. 3:8.

Compassion does not necessarily need to be shown in every situation. For example, King Saul was disobedient when he showed what he may have felt was compassion. He spared the life of Agag, an enemy of God’s people. Consequently, Jehovah rejected Saul from being king over Israel. (1 Sam. 15:3, 9, 15, ftn.) Jehovah, of course, is the righteous Judge. He can read people’s hearts, and he knows when compassion is not warranted. (Lam. 2:17; Ezek. 5:11) The time is coming when he will execute judgment on all those who refuse to obey him. (2 Thess. 1:6-10) That will not be the time for him to show compassion for those whom he has judged to be wicked. Rather, executing them will be an appropriate expression of God’s compassion for the righteous, whom he will preserve. Clearly, it is not our role to judge whether people should be executed or preserved alive. Instead, we need to do all we can now to help people. w17.09 10-11 ¶10-12


(1 Peter 3:8)  Finally, all of you have unity of mind, fellow feeling, brotherly affection, tender compassion, and humility.
(1 Samuel 15:3)  Now go, and strike down the A·malʹek·ites, and devote them to destruction along with all that they have. You must not spare them; you are to put them to death, man as well as woman, child as well as infant, bull as well as sheep, camel as well as donkey.’”
(1 Samuel 15:9)  However, Saul and the people spared Aʹgag and the best of the flock, the herd, the fattened animals, the rams, and all that was good. They did not want to devote them to destruction. But all the goods that were worthless and unwanted, these they devoted to destruction.
(1 Samuel 15:15)  To this Saul said: “They were brought from the A·malʹek·ites, because the people spared the best of the flock and the herd for sacrificing them to Jehovah your God; but what was left we devoted to destruction.”
(Lamentations 2:17)  Jehovah has done what he intended; he has carried out his saying,What he commanded long ago. He has torn down without compassion. He has let the enemy rejoice over you; he has exalted the strength of your adversaries.
(Ezekiel 5:11)  “‘Therefore as surely as I am alive,’ declares the Sovereign Lord Jehovah, ‘because it was my sanctuary that you defiled with all your disgusting idols and with all your detestable practices, I will also reject you; my eye will not feel sorry, and I will show no compassion.
(2 Thessalonians 1:6-10)  This takes into account that it is righteous on God’s part to repay tribulation to those who make tribulation for you. 7 But you who suffer tribulation will be given relief along with us at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with his powerful angels 8 in a flaming fire, as he brings vengeance on those who do not know God and those who do not obey the good news about our Lord Jesus. 9 These very ones will undergo the judicial punishment of everlasting destruction from before the Lord and from the glory of his strength, 10 at the time when he comes to be glorified in connection with his holy ones and to be regarded in that day with wonder among all those who exercised faith, because the witness we gave met with faith among you.


10, 11. Is compassion always appropriate? Explain.

10 That is not to say that compassion is to be shown in every situation. God’s compassion was appropriate in the Bible examples mentioned above. However, King Saul was disobedient when he showed what he may have felt was compassion. He spared the life of Agag, an enemy of God’s people, and he also spared the best of the flock. Consequently, Jehovah rejected Saul from being king over Israel. (1 Sam. 15:3, 9, 15, ftn.) Jehovah, of course, is the righteous Judge. He can read people’s hearts, and he knows when compassion is not warranted. (Lam. 2:17; Ezek. 5:11) The time is coming when he will execute judgment on all those who refuse to obey him. (2 Thess. 1:6-10) That will not be the time for him to show compassion for those whom he has judged to be wicked. Rather, executing them will be an appropriate expression of God’s compassion for the righteous, whom he will preserve.

11 Clearly, it is not our role to judge whether people should be executed or preserved alive. Instead, we need to do all we can now to help people. So how can we manifest fitting compassion for our fellow man in practical ways? Consider a number of suggestions.

CULTIVATING AND SHOWING APPROPRIATE COMPASSION

12. How can you show a compassionate attitude in your dealings with others?

12 Be helpful in everyday life. Showing compassion for one’s neighbor and Christian brothers is a basic requirement of those who strive to imitate Jesus. (John 13:34, 35; 1 Pet. 3:8) One meaning of compassion is “to suffer together.” A person who shows compassion is moved to relieve others’ suffering, perhaps by helping them out of their difficulties. Seek opportunities to do so! For example, could you help someone by offering to perform a necessary chore, maybe running an errand for him?​—Matt. 7:12.

Show your compassion for others by offering practical help (See paragraph 12)


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