Don’t measure other people’s problems.

My job presupposes I’ll be with people on the worst day of their lives.  I’ve seen loss, suffering, and debilitation grind folks back into the dust they came from. I’ve seen heartlessness, ego, and selfishness demolish others until the mere thought of a tomorrow is more terrifying than the last great enemy. I’ve seen the wages of sin.  I guess I’m not that special. We’ve all seen that.

Then we categorize it.  Some bad days are worse than others.  We’re pretty good at ranking them.  Why can’t we stop playing an internal game of would you rather?  Abuse or abandonment?  Disappoint the ones you love or be disappointed?  Sometimes it’s a tough call.    Cancer or late to work? Losing a child or a boy who doesn’t like you back? Sometimes it’s not.

Still, as much as we think about each other’s problems, it doesn’t give us more compassion.  If anything, it gives us less. Some people’s problems just don’t seem like a big a deal. Sometimes our own seem insignificant.  It’s easy to decide some are just unimportant.  It won’t mean a thing in 100 years. It won’t even change your plans for the rest of the day. Someone else has it worse. It’s their own fault. Who really cares?

God does.  Every worst day ever can be traced back to something we call sin.  Sin breaks stuff. Adam’s sin broke creation.  Ours destroy ourselves and each other. Abuse, abandonment, disappointment.  All if it hurts someone.  The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is life everlasting in Christ Jesus our lord. Christ died for all the sins of the world. The ones you’ve done, and the ones done to you. The big ones and the ones that hardly register on our radar.  Each one was enough to bring God to a cross.  When you or anyone else is having the worst day of their life, it isn’t a contest. Don’t measure other people’s problems.  Measure the mercy God has toward them.

He thought what they’re going through is significant enough to do something about, whether or not it wins that dark game of would you rather. When you see someone you’re convinced is making a big deal out of nothing, hear their complaints for what they really are. Each one is a need for help, forgiveness, and peace answered by a merciful God who had compassion enough to bleed and die to save them.  God doesn’t only die for people sinned against. He even died for the sinners. Even when they’re in a mess they made themselves.  Sometimes I struggle to have compassion, but God doesn’t.  If you want to see the depth of His compassion look to the cross. No matter how big or small you think someone’s problem is, look to the cross in there you’ll see a God who loves them so much that he would die to save them from it. It’s something worthy of compassion.

That cross isn’t just the source of compassion.  It was the worst day of your life too, where God bore every sin that broke and ruined and destroyed. Every wage from Adam’s sin that bore death and disease and calamity.  There God called the worst day of your life finished. Conquered.  Defeated. We call it good Friday.  Jesus bore the worst day of your life into the grave and rose 3 days later victorious over it. Christ is risen.  The worst day of your life can’t change that fact. So commend it all to His care. He is faithful to comfort, to forgive.  To grant life that death cannot end.  To raise us up whole long after the sun has set on the worst day.  It doesn’t matter if someone else has it worse. It matters Christ saved us from it.

Don’t measure other people’s problems.

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