K is for . . .
They say that Finnish is the language of eternity because it takes so long to master. It is a language full of Ks and Vs! In honour of our Scandinavian friends we are going to look at a few words beginning with the k sound to close this mini-series. KOMPASSION, KOMPLIMENTARINESS, KINDNESS and KEEPING SHORT ODDS with each other.
The Greek word for compassion literally means something like a gut ache. It is a very strong emotion indeed. Whenever Jesus felt this compassion, heavenly power flowed. He saw the crowds without a shepherd and He was moved to intervene and feed five thousand hungry bellies. He saw the widow of Nain’s son lying dead on a bier and compassion filled His soul – and as direct result He raised him from the dead. The more willing we are to experience such compassion, the more we can expect to see God answering our prayers in power. May we not allow anything to blunt our compassion, lest we fall into indifference or cynicism!
K is also for Komplimentariness
In any structure, there are stresses and tensions: these are what keep ceilings over our heads and floors under our feet! They also keep good teams functioning. But, as we all know, there are plenty of wrong kinds of tension, not least that commonly plague relationships between prophets and pastors.
The best teams are usually not those which simply duplicate callings and giftings, but those which embrace a wide spectrum of skills and styles. Just as there were prophets, teachers and evangelists in the church in Antioch (Acts 13), so there will be complementary ministries within the teams you are part of: pioneers and initiators on the one hand, and finishers on the other – the strengths of one compensating for the weaknesses of the other, and vice versa.
The quicker we are to value and appreciate these things the less we will see them as a subliminal threat! Let’s admire what other people have, who they are and what they can do rather than focussing all the time on what they are not and what either they or we cannot do.
God goes to great lengths to raise these ministries up, just as He does to balance our own human relationships. May we be swift to appreciate something that on the face of it may appear to be the complete opposite of our own character and leaning. We may actually be seriously unbalanced unless or until we make room for that other pole.
Komplimentariness is closely linked to keeping short odds with each other and avoiding the spirit of Komparisonitis. In one of the great understatements of Scripture Paul tells us, in 2 Corinthians 10:12, that we are not wise when we compare ourselves with one another. He might as well have said we are downright stupid!
Poisonous roots of envy lie behind virtually every split or damaged relationship in the body of Christ. ‘Komparisonistis’ is the power that robs teams of their unity and regions of the opportunity for an effective city wide eldership. A right understanding of ‘komplimentariness’ makes Jesus’ work so very much easier. It’s almost impossible to resent someone you are regularly praying for: the more we pray for them, the more we make their ministry our own.
You must have noticed how envy and komparisonitis snake their way in through those areas where you feel threatened by another’s gifting, success or appointment. Rebuke and root out any power of envy that is at work in your life!
May the Lord make us real, selfless encouragers who speak out words that uplift, connect and empower. This will keep us from shutting other people out of our lives unnecessarily. It is easy to build walls when we are hurt, but when we do so we risk keeping God Himself, as well as other people, at a distance.
We have only been able to skim the surface in this brief overview of qualities that will help us to be team players, but it is worth reviewing the ground we have covered:
T – taking territory for Christ beneath our tortoise covering
E – encouraging others
A – accepting what God is doing in your life and in others
M –making the most of every opportunity
T – turning sight into insight, and every situation we come across into prayer
A – assessing what God is doing in situations
L – lavishing love on others and
K – keeping our hearts free from komparisonitis and full of kindness and kompassion.