Compassion Seeks the Road Less Traveled

Monday, August 26, 2013 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Matthew 15:32, Now Jesus called His disciples to Himself and said, “I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now continued with Me three days and have nothing to eat. And I do not want to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way.”  

2 Corinthians 1:3, Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4  who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

Love and compassion are the highest and best motivating factors in our lives. Compassion also provides a foundation for developing courage. Many of the most courageous people in history and in our time were and are people of great compassion. Jesus Christ is our best example of compassion and courage.

People in history like Harriett Tubman, Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, Dr. Martin Luther King, and Mother Teresa possessed great courage through compassion. Everyday people and believers in Christ like Antoinette Tuff had compassion and courage to save lives by helping troubled people from doing horrible things.

People in my life, such as my late mother Gaynell Hudson, became courageous through compassion. As a minister, she went to places and served people who were difficult to help. A lot of ministry today is occupied with blessed people, ministering to blessed people. It does not require much courage to "have church." Much of the compassion we need to impact the most pressing needs in our nation and world for Christ goes unrealized. It seems that we have become more engaged with "fluff" than holy fire.

Jesus Inside Prison Ministry founded by my friend and colleague, Pastor William Bumphus, has been turning men from crime to Christ for more than 30 years. While the national rate of recidivism (men returning to crime after incarceration) is over 40%, Pastor Bumphus' Jesus House program as achieved a recidivism rate of only 5%. Compassion and courage empower Pastor Bumphus to help transform some of the most dangerous men in our nation, week after week, year after year.

Compassion seeks the "roads less traveled." Self-interest has created a traffic jam on the well traveled roads we see today.

It took courage for Jesus to "stand still" and listen to the pleas of Blind Bartimaeus (Mark 10:46-52). Back in those days people who were physically disabled were considered "cursed" and not worthy of recognition and dignity. Jesus showed courage through compassion by breaking with the status quo and social norm of his day to love an "untouchable" like Bartimaeus and many others.

Compassion brings the comfort and help of God on the scene. This is what causes us to have courage in difficult situations, even when the emotion of fear is present.  Our "Comforter," the Holy Spirit, works with us providing help (courage & power) to face all needs and challenges.

Along with the lifestyle of compassion comes great joy and fulfillment in life!

Listen to my message: "How Compassion Develops Courage" from Firm Foundation Podcast


Narcissism: Something to Avoid!

Friday, August 23, 2013 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

(Content summarized from Wikipedia entry)

Philippians 2:1-30, So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, .

Narcissism is a term that originated with Narcissus in Greek mythology who fell in love with his own image reflected in a pool of water. He was a handsome Greek youth who rejected the desperate advances of a woman named Echo. These advances eventually led Narcissus to fall in love with his own reflection in a pool of water. Unable to consummate his love, Narcissus "lay gazing enraptured into the pool, hour after hour," and finally changed into a flower that bears his name, the narcissus.

The concept of excessive selfishness has been recognized throughout history. In ancient Greece the concept was understood as hubris. It is only in recent times that it has been defined in psychological terms.

A 2012 popular book on power-hungry narcissists suggests that narcissists typically display most, and sometimes all, of the following traits:
  1. An obvious self-focus in interpersonal exchanges
  2. Problems in sustaining satisfying relationships
  3. Difficulty with empathy
  4. Problems distinguishing the self from others
  5. Hypersensitivity to any insults or imagined insults 
  6. Vulnerability to shame rather than guilt
  7. Haughty body language
  8. Flattery towards people who admire and affirm them
  9. Detesting those who do not admire them
  10. Using other people without considering the cost of doing so
  11. Pretending to be more important than they really are
  12. Bragging (subtly but persistently) and exaggerating their achievements
  13. Claiming to be an "expert" at many things
  14. Inability to view the world from the perspective of other people
  15. Denial of remorse and gratitude
Hotchkiss' seven deadly sins of narcissism
Hotchkiss identified what she called the seven deadly sins of narcissism:
  • Shamelessness: Shame is the feeling that lurks beneath all unhealthy narcissism, and the inability to process shame in healthy ways.
  • Magical thinking: Narcissists see themselves as perfect, using distortion and illusion known as magical thinking. They also use projection to dump shame onto others.
  • Arrogance: A narcissist who is feeling deflated may reinflate by diminishing, debasing, or degrading somebody else.
  • Envy: A narcissist may secure a sense of superiority in the face of another person's ability by using contempt to minimize the other person.
  • Entitlement: Narcissists hold unreasonable expectations of particularly favorable treatment and automatic compliance because they consider themselves special. Failure to comply is considered an attack on their superiority, and the perpetrator is considered an "awkward" or "difficult" person. Defiance of their will is a narcissistic injury that can trigger narcissistic rage.
  • Exploitation: Can take many forms but always involves the exploitation of others without regard for their feelings or interests. Often the other is in a subservient position where resistance would be difficult or even impossible. Sometimes the subservience is not so much real as assumed.
  • Bad boundaries: Narcissists do not recognize that they have boundaries and that others are separate and are not extensions of themselves. Others either exist to meet their needs or may as well not exist at all. Those who provide narcissistic supply to the narcissist are treated as if they are part of the narcissist and are expected to live up to those expectations. In the mind of a narcissist there is no boundary between self and other.


Hope is a Choice

Wednesday, August 14, 2013 Bryan Hudson 2 Comments

Colossians 1:27 To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

J.B. Phillips translation says: “...Christ in you, the hope of all glorious things to come.” This reveals that every hope that God has put in your heart will have a glorious manifestation. Nothing in God is mediocre or insignificant.

The key to realizing the “hope of glory” is to know that Jesus lives on the inside of us and desires to express Himself in fulfillment of every hope.

Hope is not based on circumstances, but our interpretation of the outcome of circumstances. Like the 12 spies in Numbers 13: Either you interpret the "giants" are stronger than you, or you interpret that you are "well able" with God's help to overcome giant-type obstacles.

Hope is a choice. Choose well.


Garage Doors, Springs, & God

Wednesday, August 07, 2013 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

The spring on our garage door broke last night. I had no idea about the actual weight of the door until I had to lift the door WITHOUT the aid of the springs! I thought about how blessed we are to have the power of God (Father, Son & Holy Spirit) to carry the weight of our lives, our families, our ministries, and all the circumstances that challenge us! Thank you Jesus for your strength!


Make the Most of Every Opportunity

Wednesday, August 07, 2013 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Ephesians 1:16 Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. 17 Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.

Recent events have reminded us that life is short and full of challenge. Even those things that we have done well for a long time, when you look back, seem like just yesterday.

For some people, things that they wanted to do never got done. In some cases, the difficulty and evil of our day consumed people or distracted them from their higher purpose. Even believers can get sidetracked when they do not practice the principle of putting the kingdom of God first and seeking his righteousness.

As the apostle Paul wrote, we must "make the most of every opportunity." The King James Version says "redeem the time." The Greek word used for "time" does not refer to the time of day (chronos), but to divine opportunity and higher purpose (kairos).

Now is the time to obey the Lord, think clearly, be faithful to his heart, give generously, help the people you can help, and maximize your abilities, resources, and training.