“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32.
“The tenderness of a friend rejoices the heart.” Proverbs 27:9.
“Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love …” Romans 12:10.
After all is said and done, the average person, a sinner, is rather hardhearted. A deep and thorough salvation from sin, a radical transformation, is necessary before a person can be tenderhearted toward others; for example, brothers toward brothers and sisters toward sisters.
Quite simply put, having a tender heart is something very rare. The source of being tenderhearted is understanding and compassion.
The fact of the matter is that we have the same sinful tendencies within us as the others, and we have experienced that it is difficult to overcome them. This is the very reason we should have compassion with others when they fall.
It is absolutely inappropriate to say, “I just cannot understand that!” On the contrary, it is quite fitting to say, “That is really sad, but I understand it very well, and I have good reason to show compassion.” Yes, imagine if it had been you or me!
All of us have good reason to be radical in seeking salvation from every trace of hardness so that being tenderhearted toward one another becomes a common occurrence in daily life. May it be so.
This article is translated from Norwegian, and first appeared under the title “Tenderheartedness” in BCC’s periodical “Skjulte Skatter” (“Hidden Treasures”) in February 1966
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