Compassion

I’ve been thinking a lot about compassion recently. Mostly, how at times in our culture we have almost treated compassion for others as a weakness.

I believe that God has created humans to have love and compassion for others. I definitely believe that for some, compassion is a gift, while for others it is a learned state of mind.

As for me, I think the Lord gave me a heart of compassion. I think I’ve always known this about myself, but I think I have tried long and hard to shove down my feelings and emotions, for fear of seeming weak. But as I’ve studied  the Scriptures recently and as I’ve been drowning in my faith, I’ve realized that compassion is not a weakness. Nor is crying out of feeling compassion.

Perhaps, I hid these feelings for trying to appear strong like my brothers, or strong around my peers, but I’ve been learning that there is nothing wrong with showing emotion, especially the emotions brought to surface because of love and compassion for others.

If nothing, I am proud to have compassion for others, even when it means that I weep alone or in silence. It is my prayer that my compassion drives me to love and to action. I do not simply want to pity others from afar, impersonally. But, My prater for my life is that I can be compassionate like Christ and that my compassion drives me to act.

Sometimes though, all we can do in our compassion is pray. I am a fixer, a doer. When something happens I want to fix and do something for others, however, there are certain times and situations that all we can do it trust God and pray.

The Scriptures often give us just a glimpse at the compassion that God has for His people.

  • Isaiah 49:10
    • “They will not hunger or thirst,
      Nor will the scorching heat or sun strike them down;
      For He who has compassion on them will lead them
      And will guide them to springs of water.”
  • Isaiah 49:13
    • “Shout for joy, O heavens! And rejoice, O earth!
      Break forth into joyful shouting, O mountains!
      For the Lord has comforted His people
      And will have compassion on His afflicted.”
  • Psalm 51:1
    • Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness;
      According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions.”

We also see that Christ our Savior also had compassion for His people.

  • Matthew 14:13-14
    • Now when Jesus heard about John, He withdrew from there in a boat to a secluded place by Himself; and when the people heard of this, they followed Him on foot from the cities. When He went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and felt compassion for them and healed their sick.”
  • Mark 6:34
    • “When Jesus went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and He felt compassion for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and He began to teach them many things.”

Finally we see many places in the Scriptures where Believers (or Christ followers) are called to be compassionate.

  • Colossians 3:12-14
    •  So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.”
  • Galatians 6:2
    • “Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.”
  • Ephesians 4:32
    • “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”
  • Philippians 2:3-4
    •  Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”

The book of Philippians is one of my absolute favorites, and the verse listed above is one that I seek to live out daily, though I often fail. I wish to live my life for the sake of the other, not for myself. The only was I imagine I can do this is through the gift of compassion.

The featured image I painted with a sweet friend. It now hangs in my kitchen above the sink. I use it as a daily reminder. In everything I do, whether that is missions, evangelism, love, compassion, It is my prayer that I do not back down or cower in fear but instead–Be Brave.

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