This one very powerful yet tender word was put on my heart this morning – compassion. Having compassion for other people is a key to humanity overcoming one of our biggest hurdles – pride. Being compassionate takes the focus off our our own situation and recognizes that others have needs too, often being far greater than our own. Our greatest example of being compassionate is the Lord Jesus.
The Lord had such a deep compassion for mankind that He became one of us; being born and raised a man, he lived and worked as a man, taught and healed man. In spite of people’s doubts, their hatred toward him, and many mocking him, Jesus willingly chose to die for us. Would anyone of us done this after we had been teased, called names, and been bullied? Likely not. But Jesus was beaten, spit on, tortured, confronted by evil men and demons of Satan, and nailed to a wooden cross, being left there to die. Even then man kept mocking Him! Did Jesus climb down and condemn any of them? No. He certainly had the right to and the power to, but He had so much compassion for us, that He looked past what was being said and done to Him, and saw what He could do for them.
Jesus’ example of not just feeling compassion but acting on it is one we can challenge ourselves with daily, if not hourly. It is an expression of pure love.
“When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”
“Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.”
“When the Lord saw her, He felt compassion for her, and said to her, “Do not weep. Then he went up and touched the bier they were carrying him on, and the bearers stood still. He said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!” The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother.”
“And Jesus called His disciples to Him, and said, “I feel compassion for the people, because they have remained with Me now three days and have nothing to eat; and I do not want to send them away hungry, for they might faint on the way.”
“When He went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and felt compassion for them and healed their sick.”
“Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes; and immediately they regained their sight and followed Him.”
As christians, we are to live up to our name and imitate our great Lord by showing compassion: by giving our time to those that need it, by using our skills to help those that can’t do what we can do, by loving someone who is deeply hurting by a hug, a note, a smile, a meal, by praying with them.
Doing so is loving others as He has loved us.
Food for thought: “No one has ever become poor by giving.”
― Anne Frank, diary of Anne Frank: the play
Fun facts: Compassion as an emotion has physical side effects that are beneficial for both parties. When you are compassionate, your heart rate goes down. You are producing more Oxytocin, which encourages you to be even more compassionate!
Photo by: Kari Wiseman – Foxglove Bluebells