A call for more compassion and less brutality

June 15, 2020 | 34 comments

Evidence of police brutality has spurred thousands of protestors to fill streets and plazas around the world with shouts for reform. Some want to defund the police, others want more sensitivity training, some call for more diversity on the police force, along with other ideas for change that have been surfacing.

When I pray and listen for answers, it seems that the troublesome issue is much deeper and wider than what has surfaced with the police force. Evidences of brutality can be seen throughout many segments of society. In the political arena, accusations, condemnations, and judgements lobbed back and forth between opponents are often ugly and brutal. In marriages headed for divorce court, relations often become brutal. Video games that millions of players absorb without question are filled with brutality. Many movies glorify brutality. Perhaps it’s time for a change in culture? Perhaps it’s a time to embrace more compassion for one another and less hatred and violent thinking that breeds brutality!

God created us to be compassionate creatures, family members of one grand universal family that can work together in love.

It is not our God-given nature to be cruel to one another. That is an alien inclination, a carnal impulse, that has no place in God’s man, woman, and child.

We can learn from Jesus Christ how to treat one another. He left an example of unqualified love to follow. He looked for the good in everyone, and prayed to bring it out for their benefit and for the community they lived in. He treated others with compassion, forgiveness, understanding, and patience.

As our society embraces a culture of compassion over contempt, compassion demonstrated between neighbors will filter out into other corners of our communities and have a positive effect on everyone. Children will be raised with more compassion in their heart toward others, relations in homes will improve, politicians will be kinder to one another, and the police force will find ways to do their job well without resorting to brutality.

Compassion is not a weakness. It is a strength.

34 thoughts on “A call for more compassion and less brutality”

  1. Amen! I totally agree with everything you say Evan! A verse from hymn 126 came to mind immediately:
    “Let love, in one delightful stream,
    Through every bosom flow;
    And union sweet, and dear esteem
    In every action glow.”

  2. Our loving God imparts compassion , so it is a permanent part of man and the universe. Our realisation of this can often lead to a healing we personally experience. Thank you Evan for reminding us how we can expand our thoughts and prayers to include all mankind .❣️

  3. Evan another “amen” for your compassionate sharing.. it reminds me of Mrs. Eddy’s comment that “Love gives the clearest idea of deity.”
    Just yesterday I visited a camp for the un-housed..these dear people living in tents without running water or electricity where so appreciative of any kindness we could show them..
    Reminded me of the heart felt passage “How can you love God that you have not seen if you don’t love your brother whom you have seen?”.

  4. Thank you Evan, for your thoughts on brutality and for expanding it to cover many aspects of human life and not just to the police forces. For me hymn 179 comes to mind:
    Love one another, — word of revelation;
    Love frees from error’s thrall, — Love is liberation.
    Love’s way the Master trod;
    He that loves shall walk with God.
    Love is the royal way.
    Thank you once again for your most helpful insights into this subject.

  5. Thank you Evan. As I read this I thought of Saul. He was a zealot and a brutal force that was transformed. He was healed of his blindness. May I be healed of my blindness! I am grateful for all the ways our police have helped protect our communities. I know God has an answer of peace and transformation. The old adage that ‘Two wrongs don’t make a right’ is food for thought in many many ways right now and on both sides of the issue.

  6. Thank you, Evan, Linda, Barbara, John, and David, for this morning’s inspiration.
    When I get wound up and I don’t feel loving, I I keep these two verses close—

    Psalms 57:2
    I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me.

    Zechariah 7:9
    shew mercy and compassions every man to his brother:

  7. Thank you, Evan! As I read what you wrote, I though about a family member who seems to show so much ugliness when he’s upset. I am going to read this to him, and also the 2 citations quoted by Murph Elliot (thanks, Murph). Compassion and harmony absolutely have to begin at home, and in this way our children learn it, too. I am so grateful for all that is shared for the good of mankind. Let’s each start our day with that citation from Zechariah 7:9!

  8. Thanks, Evan. Spot-on. There does seem to be much brutality and animality in society these days. Mrs. Eddy saw it too and knew that tenderness and love are the only real solution:

    “He that touches the hem of Christ’s robe and masters his mortal beliefs, animality, and hate, rejoices in the proof of healing, — in a sweet and certain sense that God is Love”
    (SH 569:11–14).

  9. “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”
    St. John 13:34-35

  10. Thanks Evan for sharing these ideas with the world. You know this apparent problem is nothing new. Even Moses faced it all those years ago. In this mortal seeming world only Love is reflected in Love. There are many parts of society arpund the globe who have faced racial discrimination, injustice, hatred on so on, and it’s not necessarily been dependent on skin colour. Is it easier to criticise and when we do can we honestly say we have “walked in their moccasins for a day”? Only Love is real, it is a real power thats effective. We must all love one another as Jesus instructed to do so. Thanks for sharing everyone, it’s so loving….

  11. Thank you for calling us out to do our work on this issue of brutality and compassion. It is so needed. Lately I have been enjoying for than ever my Christian Science studying, praying and listening to lectures, etc., But am also having a clearer glimpse at the necessity to go out and demonstrate it in daily life. I have noticed that some days my high thought studying and praying isn’t matching my thoughts and actions towards others on social media or out in public.

    Last Friday I had a very simple, but kind and loving verbal exchange with a young women working at a rural market. After driving away it became brightly clear the importance of simple kindness in our sometimes seemingly mundane activities or exchanges with people. I glimpsed the infinite power that goes out with that simple kindness and love. And for me I realized that’s where it starts and then we progress onward to bigger and more challenging interactions with others, even if it’s not reciprocated or we maybe don’t “feel it” as easily as other times, in the moment. I really appreciated the nudge from God. I’m always asking God “what do you want me to do?” Or “What can I do?” Interesting what happens when we are humble and listen. I appreciate the simplicity of God’s messages. I think sometimes I expect it to be complicated or I’ll have to work very hard and then miss the message.

    We have been called, let’s respond to God and truly work to love our neighbor, all of them. God is doing all the work for us, we are just accepting and reflecting that Truth.

  12. Thoughts of Jesus walking among sinners, during a period in history where “a sword for a sword” was the accepted norm. His loving thought neutralized violence and brutality wherever he went. He is our great example, showing us the enormous power of divine Love! So grateful for today’s post Evan.

  13. Yes, all so true. We ARE called and it is an unmistakable command for going forward to practice everything we know of the Christ, for the Christ is always calling us to be in the sure embrace of its all powerful Love expressing Itself to us and to ALL. I feel that the little foxes are nagging us to be uncritical, unselfish, un-obsrving of human personality and the elbowing of the crowd. We really can go forth in the full light of the Christ for it is the ony power, and it empowers us and all. Our spiritual Identity is secure no matter what the world screams. It “ain’t true”. Love is from above, Nan

  14. Thank you Evan ! Man’s true nature is to love and we know that many and probably most police officers are just and fair and many politicians are working for the good of mankind- but hatred and aggressive attacks of any kind whether it’s on a race, a political opponent, or the health of mankind need to be detected, exposed, denounced and replaced by good- otherwise its nurtured- as Eddy points out. Let’s hope that intelligent reforms can come in the form of peaceful policing. “Let government pattern the divine” Mrs. Eddy states. I love to picture this peaceful government of honesty and charity for all.

  15. Thank you, Evan, for the reminder that we need to go deeper than the immediate events to ascertain the need. Included in this week’s lesson is “The physical universe expresses the conscious and unconscious thoughts of mortals.” As you suggested, let’s discern the underlying error and then “pour in Truth through flood tides of Love.” This can be our full employment!

  16. MBE teaches us in Science and Health that ‘…a Christian Scientist does violence to no man”. From the earliest days of a child’s life, many are taught that violence is an answer when they are spanked. A good place to teach that violence is not an answer is in the home, working outward from there. This is a really important topic Evan and I thank you for bringing it into focus for us to pray about.

    1. I just wanted to share an observation. I have heard that statement “many are taught that violence is an answer when they are spanked.” My siblings and I were spanked when needed and sometimes not lightly. At the time that’s what most parents did. I nor my siblings learned that violence was an answer to anything. We learned what was right and wrong. And we knew our parents loved us. We all grew up happy and well adjusted and all have been married for many years. I just wanted to clear up that misconception that spanking leads to violence.

      Having said that, I too as Kristin said “thank you Evan for the reminder that we need to go deeper than the immediate events to ascertain the need.” …the underlying error that needs to be addressed. And the quote from Science and Health Kristin shared fit in so well “The physical universe expresses the conscious and unconscious thoughts of mortals.” Thank you all for your comments.

  17. Thanks so much, Evan and all who have commented. Any action or even thought that is unloving is directly violating the commandment to love our neighbor – that includes all mankind.

  18. As Evan points out, millions watch brutality playing video games. Movies too filled w violence & brutality. Watching ‘Mary Poppins’ recently put me back into the arena of childlike innocence, love, kindness & wonderment in God’s/our world.

  19. Evan, thank you for addressing this extremely important subject. I have been feeling the same way. Thank you, commentors, for your helpful contributions as well. We need to let the love we reflect from God shine forth to all mankind. I have always loved the passage Mrs. Eddy wrote in Science and Health on page 340. “The divine Principle of the First Commandment bases the Science of being, by which man demonstrates health, holiness, and life eternal. One infinite God, good, unifies men and nations; constitutes the brotherhood of man; ends wars; fulfils the Scripture, ” Love thy neighbor as thyself;” annihilates pagan and Christian idolatry, – whatever is wrong in social, civil, criminal, political, and religious codes; equalizes the sexes; annuls the curse on man, and leaves nothing that can sin, suffer, be punished or destroyed. ” Blessings to all.

  20. Amen, Evan! Wish this could be printed in every newspaper in the world – this truth is needed everywhere!

    1. Good point, Gretchen! Thats a wonderful idea. Evan, I truly hope youll submit it to a major paper, even perhaps the CSM. A friend of mine, Fred Andresen, once said “Many films are just violence and killing disguised as drama.” Frequent watching of these creates acceptance. Yes it’s a major culture change that’s needed. Thank you as always , Evan!

  21. At the very end of a Black Lives March on Sat in the town where I live, Pacific Beach, CA. , a beautiful sharing took place, in a large park. At least 500 or more YOUTH marched, people of color. I That morning, I heard an interview of Tamika Palmer, the mother of Breonna Taylor. Though Breonna was killed March 13, no one has apologized to the mother or the boyfriend. As I listened, deep compassion welled up. I found many Sympathy cards and blank cyards and took pens. To the crowd, I announced they could show to Breonna’s mother and boyfriend deep love writing a message. The response was overwhelming and I met so many noble, talented , highly educated YOUTH who are ready to see change. who wrote compassionate messages.Now I will mail those to Ms Tamika Palmer and Kenneth, to show loving care from San Diego to my homestate of Kentucky. I was thanked exceedingly for that simple act.
    How encouraging to feel that abundant LOVE.

  22. How grateful I am to have tuned in a day late on this blessed message from Evan–I was able to read ALL the comments above, each one contributing a new and different idea inspired by Evan’s clear writing. I am astonished at the many,many different, but related thoughts that have sprung from Evan’s above inspiring article.I feel inspired by the wonderful contributions from all contributors. I thank each one for the overflowing answers, suggestions as to how to bring.”peace and joy and power” into everyone’s daily life. Each thought is different but related to the subject and gives one tremendous help in praying for healing.
    Great interpretations of “love thy neighbor as thyself.”

  23. Thank you, Evan, for your beautiful message. It is a wonderful solution to the problem! So many seem to like to criticize the views of others without suggesting any of their own.
    Also, Amen to Gretchen… if only!
    Thanks to all for the uplifting messages you shared.

  24. Right on Evan. I am in complete agreement. We simply cannot get to love through hate or being disrespectful.I am grateful for all the good ideas your post give us to consider and opportunity to share idea from those stimulating thoughts. Thank you.

  25. Thank you, Evan and of course, to all of your dear readers here who contribute profound comments. I especially got a lot out of this idea you presented about Christ treating others with compassion, forgiveness, understanding, and patience (CFUP). If we all used these four qualities consistently, what a difference there would be in the world. I try to diligently express these qualities daily, but most times I admit that I struggle. The more we demonstrate them as the Christ like example, the more harmony and love that will be projected. I will focus my prayers more on the Fantastic Four, CFUP (I love acronyms!) because I always appreciate spiritual ideas to ponder for my prayers. Thanks again.

  26. You can’t heal violence with violence. You can’t heal wrong with wrong. You can’t heal hatred with hatred. Only Love heals.

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