“Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody … overcome evil with good” Romans 12v17,21.
I know some of you are trying to avoid the football, but we should praise and take note where credit is due in this world. It is encouraging to see the England team has tended to respond calmly to unreasonably aggressive play. Then there has been the added beauty of seeing Gareth Southgate (England Manager) consoling the Columbian, Mateus Uribe, who had missed his penalty. We are often ready to criticise where we see negative attitudes and behaviours coming through, but may the positive behaviours of the England manager and side influence others to live their lives in a similar fashion.
I wonder to what extent Gareth’s compassion flows from his experience in 1996 when he missed a penalty which resulted in England falling out of the World Cup. At the time, he was consoled by then England manager, Terry Venables. Experience of compassion leads to exercising compassion – it is a virtuous circle. This ties in with the ultimate expression of compassion that we as Christians experience that “God poured out his love into our hearts” (Romans 5v5). God anticipates that this will lead to our compassion towards others. If possession is 9/10ths of the law, then maybe compassion is 9/10ths of Christianity.
With love and blessing,