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Quick Guide: Compassion, It's for Everyone

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Sue

Compassion is defined as “a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.”  In Lamentations 3:22-23, we find, “It is of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.”

Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NKJV), “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” As Christians, we are to be compassionate toward one another as our Father is toward us, offering comfort and doing whatever we can to ease the suffering others are going through. In 1 Peter 3:8 we are told, “Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous.”

Zechariah tells us in chapter 3, verses 9 and 10, “Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Execute true judgment, and show mercy and compassions every man to his brother: and oppress not the widow, nor the fatherless, the stranger, nor the poor; and let none of you imagine evil against his brother in your heart.” God meant it then, and He hasn’t changed. He loves us and has compassion toward our weak, feeble humanity, but He expects from us the same attitude and treatment of others as He has toward each of His children.

In 1 John 3:17-18 we read, “But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother has need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.” (Bowels of compassion/mercies are the deep emotions of pity, tenderness, or courage; today we might instead say “heart of mercy or compassion”.) And in Colossians 3:12-13, we are told, “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.”

Sometimes we don’t think others understand what we are going through, and it may be difficult to show compassion when we feel we get none in return. But remember that Christ suffered on our behalf, and as we read in Hebrews 4:15-16, “For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us, therefore, come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” There is nothing you are going through that He cannot comprehend; seek His help so that you can continue to grow in His love and mercy and share it with others.

Just as we can find mercy and compassion from our Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus Christ, let us be sure to show the same mercy and compassion toward those around us, doing all we can to help ease their suffering, as well as offering encouragement and support wherever possible. And just as our Father, let us start each new day filled with compassion for one another.

Grace and blessings on your path,

Sue

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