By: J. Edwards

I am willing to admit that one of my all time favorite shows, in the past year at least, is the Real Housewives of Atlanta. Now before I’m disparaged about the excessive levels of nonsense and foolishness that occurs amongst the cast, there are occasional bits of wisdom to be found under lace front wigs and southern “charm.” One of the newest additions to the cast, a self declared southern belle extraordinaire- Ms. Phaedra Parks has been quite apt at dropping some knowledge on occasion. In describing her marriage to someone who was formerly incarcerated to America she stated: “Every saint has a past and every sinner a future.” Now she might not be the original author of this statement but I heard it from her first and certainly more than willing to give her the credit.

As I sat down thinking about what to write for this article I paused to consult the Bible for insight on compassion, after all the Atlanta Housewives are not exactly the most reputable source of knowledge. Though the Bible is the ultimate source for answers to all questions and inquiries, the 15th century English of the King James Version, parables and general syntax contributes to general confusion when one wants an answer quickly. This time around though I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly aresponse came. Lamentations 3:22-23; “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is Your faithfulness.”Sound familiar?Sometimesit might be difficult to realize how blessed we are.

As someone who has attended church literally before birth, I realizehow very easy it is to take salvation for granted. Grow up in a loving two-parent household? Live in a safe home? Feel loved, appreciated and unafraid? I could go on and on about the blessings and security of life with Christ but what about our friends, relatives or perfect strangers who do not have ready access to such hope?

In addition to salvation, how secure doesone feel about their spirituality? It is easyto observe the lives of others around and consider their plight and say well they should’ve, could’ve, or would’ve but stop to consider what has kept you from such a fate. Are we so saved, sanctified, Holy Ghost filled and water baptized that we fail to realize what has made the difference? I recall a reoccurring phrase my Dad would use in his testimony or wheneverhe ministered-“ …But GOD…” Anyone could insert a past struggle or source of shamein the blank, but follow it with “BUT GOD….” and we are humbly reminded of what has made the difference in our lives.Jesus is the only thing that separates you from the other individual. When reaching out to others it is important to remember it is not our “holiness” or “goodness” that is keeping you from pitfalls but the compassion and mercy of God.