<<kindness, care>>

We are to have mercy or pity for those in need, being willing to embrace the pain of their suffering. Compassion differs from sympathy in that it just doesn’t feel sorry for the person, rather in genuine concern and love, it acts to remedy the situation as appropriate.

Am I a person of compassion?

 This kindness is ‘love in action’, practicing the golden rule of doing good to others as illustrated in the parable of the Good Samaritan (Lk 6:31, 10:25-37).

God is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness with His compassions never failing (Ps 86:15; Lam 3:22). Jesus, bearing the Father’s attributes, was termed “the man of sorrows [who was] acquainted with grief”. He entered into the heartache of humanity, being “touched with the feeling of their infirmities”, and died a painful death that we might experience eternal life (Isa 53:3; Jn 11:35; Heb 4:15). He continues to show compassion on those that fear (reverence) Him (Ps 103:13, 112:4).

Jesus had compassion on the crowds as He saw they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd (Mt 9:36). He ministered healing to those who were sick, provided food for the hungry and wept with those who grieved (Mt 14:14-21; Mk 1:40,41; Jn 11:33-35).

Like Jesus, we are to display compassion for others – expressing mercy in the same bountiful measure we have experienced by loving our neighbour as ourselves (Mt 15:32, 18:23-35; Mk 12:31; Act 10:38; 1 Pet 3:8; 1 Jn 3:17).

When did I last do a compassionate act?

Genuine compassion that is outworked in action is an attribute of God and is to be of God’s people as well, "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you" (Eph 4:32; Col 3:12,13).

See also: empathy, golden rule, good works, kindness, love, sympathy.