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Gut Response
Theme of the Week: True Compassion
Thursday, June 29, 2017

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Key Bible Verse: "Lord," they said to him, "open our eyes!" Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes. Immediately they could see, and they followed him. (Matthew 20:34, HCSB)

Dig Deeper: Matthew 20:29-34

There are moments when our gut-level response to something is overwhelming and we can't explain what's driving it.

The word translated compassion is one of my favorite words from the original Greek of the New Testament. It's the word splagchnizomai. (Go ahead and try saying it: splagchnizomai. It rolls off the tongue, doesn't it?)

The word is tied to the idea of one's bowels being moved. Gross, I know. But the connection is actually quite meaningful. In those days, people saw the bowels as the center of one's emotions. So, in the same way that we would say, "My heart's just not in it" or "I got my heart broken," people in the first century would talk about being moved with compassion in their guts.

Have you ever come across a person whose situation made you sick to see it?

Have you ever witnessed an argument that took the wind out of you?

Have you ever seen people in pain and something inside you actually hurt with them?

There are moments when our gut-level response to something is overwhelming and we can't explain what's driving it. We just know that what we're seeing isn't right. Something inside us is moved. That's splagchnizomai. It's the kind of compassion that wells up inside us and needs a release.

—Jason Mitchell in No Easy Jesus

Adapted from No Easy Jesus by Jason Mitchell (Tyndale Momentum, 2017) by permission. All rights reserved by the copyright holder and/or the publisher. May not be reproduced.

Prayer for the Week
Savior, grant me the boldness to turn my compassion into action; help me to meet the needs you call me to meet in this world.

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