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In this fast paced world we are missing so many good things in life that God wants us to posses and practice. Many think of only comfort but they forget the fact that they are made comfortable or comforted to bring comfort to others. A virtue that we rarely see today is compassion.

What is compassion? Compassion is a profound and positive human emotion prompted by the pain of others. More vigorous than empathy, the feeling commonly gives rise to an active desire to alleviate another’s suffering. Compassion will lead us to “Do unto others what you want others to do unto you”.

Pick up any paper, watch any newscast, read any magazine, and you will discover people in need. We can deny it, we can close our eyes, we can put on blinders and we can stay in the closet. May be the best some would do is to have pity. Pity leads to despair, compassion leads to hope. Someone has said pity weeps and walks away; compassion comes to help and to stay. Pity often produces the tears that keep us a safe distance away from another person’s problem. Pity observes compassion involves.

A compassionate heart is better than a intellectual head. Thomas Aquinas said “I would rather feel compassion than know the meaning of it”.  Compassion is the foundation of our morality and it is a sign of maturity.

It was manifested in Jesus while he was on the earth. “Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd” (Matthew 9:36; Matthew 15:32; Hebrews 4:14,15). Every miracle and ministry Jesus did was out of a compassionate heart. When ministry done with compassion it touches, transforms and delivers. He said in Luke 4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor, He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind…” Jesus was sent to meet the needs of the people and set them free.

We are sent into this world as God sent Jesus into this world (John 20:21). Unlike the Levite and the priest who walked away, the good Samaritan showed compassion on the man who was stripped and beaten up by the robbers (Luke 10:33NASB). He bound his wounds, poured oil and the wine and brought him to an inn and he took care of him. Who knows how many we have left wounded, broken, bruised…whom God brought on our way to minister and show compassion? Perhaps you can think of someone. My purpose is not to bring guilt upon you but to bring realization about our failures and start afresh.   

Compassion has to be practiced it is not received overnight. As we practice intentionally we will begin to see that it would not be something that we do during Christmas time but all through the year. And we will have this virtue growing within us.  As you let God do deeper works in you and as you respond to the promptings of the Spirit you will move from the level of pity to the level of empathy and then to the level of compassion.

We have to show compassion to the:

  • Ignorant and misguided – Hebrews 5:2, 7

  • Weary and heavy laden  – Matthew 11:28-30

  • Tempted – Hebrews 2:18

  • Afflicted and agonised – Luke 7:13, John 11:33, 35

  • Diseased – Matthew 14:14; Mark 1:41

  • Poor and hungry – Mark 8:2

  • Dispirited and distressed – Matthew 9:36

  • Perishing souls – Luke 19:41-44

To turn your eyes on Jesus is to turn your eyes on the people who are in need and meet their need. Every need around you is not an invitation for you. Holy Spirit is your guide. Be compassionate.

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