<<merciful, kind>>

The Good Samaritan not just saw the need but responded: this sacrifice cost time and money, involved crossing cultural barriers and was inconvenient, besides possibly jeopardising his own safety as his donkey was used to transport the injured man (Lk 10:25-37). God has compassion on His children, gently leading them, especially those requiring special care (Ps 103:13; Isa 40:11).

The Bible instructs us to be compassionate, humble and loving by considering others as if we were in their situation, and with empathy doing to them as we would like them to do to us, looking beyond our own needs, to those who are in a worse position (Lk 6:31; Rom 15:1,2; Gal 6:2; Heb 13:1-3; 1 Pet 3:8). Just as God is compassionate to us, we are to extend this same virtue to others (2 Cor 1:3,4; Eph 4:32).

In the challenging situations of life, we need to ask ‘what would Jesus do to show the love of God to this person?’ Then as appropriate, because we are His representatives, we should minister His presence and power where needed (Mk 16:17,18). It is not our right to judge others for the predicaments they are in and even challenging or suggesting

Put yourself in the place of others – ‘There, but for the grace of God, go I’

possible solutions is not always helpful, but we are to encourage and support them, lifting them up emotionally and practically. In each inter-personal situation respond with a tender attitude – even when we must be firm and not allow any compromise with sin. Always act in the most loving and beneficial way for the other person. When administering Godly discipline this should hurt us as much as the recipient.

Jesus said whatever we do for any of our fellow Christians we are in effect doing to Him – there being no distinction or favouritism as to who the recipient is. This teaching indicates that living out the gospel in a practical manner, by assisting those in need, is a key aspect of Christianity (Mt 25:34-46; Jas 1:27, 2:15,16). David prayed, “Lord do not withhold your mercy from me”, nor should we holdback from showing love and help to those who need it (Ps 40:11).

If Jesus hadn’t “been touched with the feelings of our sin”, then responded and died in our place, we would be doomed to a lost eternity, therefore we should do all we can to point others to Jesus, so they too will also choose Him and escape the consequences of their sin (Heb 4:15).

See also: compassion, empathy, feelings, gentleness, golden rule, kindness, love, mercy, sensitive, sympathy.


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