...we have the mind of Christ. 1 Corinthians 2:16
Who has not had the experience of getting annoyed with patients? Perhaps impatient at their non-compliance, their failure to modify their health-damaging life-style, their lack of punctuality, their failure to consider one's time off, or the unexpected demands at the end of a long day...or night.
Mark 6 records events in an extremely busy day in the life of Jesus. So many people demanded his attention that there was not time to eat. Does that sound familiar? Concerned for his tired disciples, Jesus ordered them into a boat to find a quiet place. However, the people saw where the boat was heading and ran ahead. As the boat approached the beach, the disciples were once again faced by a large crowd clamouring for attention.
It is Jesus's response to this crowd that challenges me. Moved with compassion, he immediately began to minister to them, setting aside his own weariness. Paul exhorts us to have the same mind or attitude that Jesus had (Phil 2:5). Do I show love and compassion to my patients as Jesus did at that beach scene? The dictionary defines compassion as `sympathy with the distress and suffering of another'. No, in my natural self it is not in me to do this. However, elsewhere Paul affirms that I may have the mind of Christ within me (1 Cor 2:16). Christ lives in me. The Holy Spirit imparts to me the very life and mind of Christ himself. Paul could say, `I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me' (Gal 2:20 NIV). There I find the answer to my problem. I surrender myself to him, reckoning my own natural, selfish nature dead, crucified with him. I allow him to live his life through me, and as he does this I am able to show his love and compassion to others. I see patients and love them as he did, even at those difficult times, at the end of a long day or in the middle of a cold, wet winter night. `For God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us' (Rom 5:5 NIV).
`You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, so that you may fully and completely proclaim the virtues and excellence of him (Jesus) who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light' (1 Pet 2:9).
Thank you, Lord Jesus, for your indwelling presence. Grant
that your understanding and love might be shown through me
to all I meet today.
Further reading: Mk 6:45-56. 1 Cor 2:14-16.