Pause + Pray

Responding with Compassion

Black man praying


From time to time, someone says something that hurts my feelings or elicits feelings of anger. I am tempted to say something to put them in their place. Then, without being a doormat, I pause and pray, asking whether their words have a ring of truth to them. Even if their words were gratuitous and inaccurate, I can respond in ways that don’t add fuel to the fire and lay the groundwork for a more positive relationship in the future.


God of infinite compassion,
Give me an understanding heart.
Help me be strong enough to forgive
And caring enough to speak the truth with love.


When you feel attacked, before responding, breathe deeply and center yourself. Discern what’s going on and act and speak in ways that bring healing to the situation.

Guided by Saints journal

1 thought on “Responding with Compassion”

  1. Mike Reininger

    It’s been said that the truth hurts. But lies can hurt too. Since I consider myself a student of the truth, if something is true, then I will definitely take that into consideration and ask myself more questions. I know the truth can be a hard taskmaster, hence the importance of humility. As far as lies, well, what can anyone say about those? They are just lies. I think most people know the difference between lies and what is true. The important thing is to not give a lie a leg to stand on. Lies may matter to others and hence one’s concern for one’s reputation. One has to ask, what kind of reputation do I have, exactly? A stellar reputation can withstand anything. People of different backgrounds or cultures will respond differently to lies. Others are watching and will draw conclusions accordingly.

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