Compassion – Feeling the sadness or hurt of others and wanting to help
Psalm 103:13 – As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear Him.
In the book of Luke, Jesus is asked how one might inherit eternal life. The answer? “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your strength and with all your mind; and, love your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27). Not quite satisfied with the answer, the young man asks just one more seemingly innocent question, you know, for clarification: Who is my neighbor?
We all know the parable that Jesus told to illustrate what being a good neighbor looks like. The story of the Good Samaritan is about a man who recognized a need and acted on it (or fulfilled it), and ultimately made a bad situation better for someone else. In other words, he demonstrated compassion.
Sadly, the two resources used by the Good Samaritan are often times our very own excuses for NOT being compassionate: time and money. Instead, we become indifferent by putting our own needs in front of others. Maybe we recognize a need or hurt but don’t act on it. There’s not enough time for that!
But God knows better than leaving us to our own devices! How many times has He placed a person or circumstance in your life which required service or sacrifice on your part? That tug on your heart compelling you to display compassion didn’t just make someone else’s day or life better...it improved your own, didn’t it! You were living out a milestone on the road to eternal life!
Psalm 103 uses the illustration of a father’s compassion or tenderness with his children. This should strike a nerve with all of us. We have all experienced the deep rooted compassion we have for our children when they are suffering. There’s a restlessness in us that doesn’t subside until things have been made better.
Call to Action
What if we took that same restlessness outside of our home? What if we all opened our eyes and hearts just a little more so that we could be more mindful of the hurt or pain of those around us? What if our children saw our heartfelt compassion being carried out in works of mercy for not just loved ones but also complete strangers?
Only when compassion begins in the home will it overflow into the world.