Posts Tagged ‘passion’

Passion

Posted: August 15, 2008 in random thoughts
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I have recently learned the meaning behind the word passion from an on line etymology dictionary at www.etymonline.com where it states that the word Passion comes root words that in AD 1175 meant to suffer, to hurt, as in the passion of Christ. So it seems that passion correctly defined would have to have a bit of pain in the description, which if you think about the passion that you may have or that others you know may have: passion for Christ, passion for art, a passion to help or protect, a passion for an individual and the love associated, or even a passion for raspberries, all of which produces a kind of hurt or longing of pain for something.

As I find myself meshing into Seattle culture, discovering the “third” place hangouts of my fellow Seattlites and figuring this church planting thing out I am discovering that I hurt for people to come to Christ. That it is actually a pain. I can’t stand seeing people who are not following Christ, those who never have and those who have lost the closeness. Maybe it only hurts because I know the beauty and amazement of following Christ closely and the ugly of not following close.

I understand pain to be nothing short of good, in my life. I can’t speak about the pain of the innocent sufferings around the world. That’s another topic for a much longer page.

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In Colossians 3:12-15 Paul calls us to clothe ourselves with several things. The next few posts will be short thoughts on these eight items of life.

When he used the word clothe he was talking about something that we intentionally and actively do. Clothe is an action word. Clothe – doesn’t happen by itself – it takes action on our part to get dressed.

The first virtue Paul penned calling us to clothe ourselves is with Compassion.

Compassion There are two great ways to look at this word. It is an easy word to throw around but seldom is it an easy word to put action to.

First the root word in compassion is Passion – “To Suffer,”  (used in many different ways). And “Com” or to come together. Compassion then can be translated to have a meaning of coming together to help alleviate the suffering of another individual. Compassion is strongly tied to action.

Second I think that the word could have a different root word and a slightly different meaning.  What if  compassion comes from the root word Compass, a device that finds direction using a magnetic needle that always points true North. This device has a “consciousness” for North. It can also be used as a verb  that means to “step out” or to “pace out,” as in measuring. Add the “ion” – which is a suffix that forms a noun of action out of a verb.  Compassion then is a sympathetic consciousness of other’s distress with a desire to relieve that distress.

The Greek speak about compassion as being a feeling that wells up from the bowels, literally the guts, liver, stomach. The inner being of a human. A compassionate person is one who can discover “pace out” the direction and location of another’s distress and seeks to help.

Shoes are what you put on when you need to go somewhere. Maybe we need to put on the shoes of compassion and discover other’s distress and then take action to alleviate that distress. Have you put on the shoes of compassion today?