Let’s talk about compassion. Something that we would all want to be shown but not something we always show to others. Compassion is defined as “sympathetic concern for the sufferings of others”. Sound a little complicated? No wonder we overthink it sometimes. The Proverbs 31 woman is compassionate. In verse 20 it says “She extends her hand to the poor and opens her arms to the needy”. She sees a need and she meets it. She doesn’t over complicate things. She uses compassion to show love and bring support.
Consider: What does compassion mean to you?
There is a huge difference between feeling sorry for someone and showing compassion to someone. I’ll say it again – there is a huge difference between feeling sorry for someone and showing compassion to someone. Most of us will often feel sorry for someone – the girl who didn’t get the job that she wanted, the woman who’s just had her heart broken, the grieving widow. But how many of us actually show compassion? Compassion is a doing-word. It requires action. It requires that you go do something.
Context: Why bother?
Showing true compassion will cost us. It’s true. It will cost us time, emotion, energy, maybe even money or resources. Showing compassion will stretch us and push us out of our comfort zone. So where does the motivation to be compassionate come from? From He who showed us compassion in its truest form – Jesus. Jesus’ life was a life of compassion. Matthew 14v14 says “Jesus saw the huge crowds he stepped from the boat, and He had compassion on them and healed their sick”. Jesus took intentional time out to show compassion to people. It wasn’t always on His schedule. It wasn’t always convenient. It cost Him something and it required sacrifice. When we look to Jesus’ example of compassion we can learn how to be truly be compassionate towards others. We have no better example than His and no better time to start than now.
Over to you: Ask yourself…..
Think of a time when you have needed compassion and someone how shown it to you (This could have been a parent, friend, teacher, pastor, leader or someone else in your life)
How did being showed compassion make you feel? What difference did that make in your life?
Who do you need to show compassion towards?
Ask Jesus to increase your capacity for compassion and for practical ways to show it to those around you.