Will you please join me today in discussing one of my most favorite words? What's the word you may ask? Compassion! Just saying the word aloud gives me a sense of joy, contentment and peace!
Compassion defined from The Webster's Online Bible Dictionary: "Suffering with another; pity; painful sympathy; a sensation of sorrow excited by the distress or misfortunes of another."
Here's a simple definition of compassion I heard several years ago,
"Compassion doesn't just see a need, it does something to help meet that need."
to the pity
Let's take a look at just a few examples where compassion is shown in God's Word.
The prodigal son
You can read the entire account in Luke 15:11-32
I'd like to focus on the following verse,
"And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him."
Notice the father didn't just stand on the front porch waving to his son waiting for him to arrive at home. No, the father ran a great way, fell on his son's neck and kissed him!
But he didn't stop there!
"But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:
And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:"
The Good Samaritan
You can read the entire story in Luke 10:30-37
A certain man had been attacked by thieves, stripped of his clothes and wounded almost to the point of death.
"And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side."
"And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side."
But here's the verse which speaks volumes!
"But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,"
And it goes on to say,
"And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee."
Of course the best example of compassion we have in the Bible is that of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus loved us so much and demonstrated exceeding compassion by stretching out His arms and allowing Himself to be nailed to that old rugged cross for the sins of the entire of world!
You may be saying,
"But, Barb, I don't have a wayward child. It's not every day I encounter a wounded person. And, well, we know that none of us can do what Jesus did. So how can I show compassion to others?"
Very good question!
I'd like to share three simple examples from my own life to help you understand how easy showing compassion to others really can be!
Last week I faintly heard my phone "ding". Couldn't tell if it was notifying me of an e-mail or a text message. Kind of figured it was just an e-mail from one of my favorite online stores letting me know of a new sale!
BUT much to my surprise, it was a text message from a BEST friend whom I've known and loved for MANY MANY years.
When I looked at her text message this is what I saw,
Aren't you SO VERY thankful for friends who follow the prompting of the Holy Spirit!
We texted just a bit, and then I hit the "call" button. As soon as I heard her voice, all I got out was, "Hi", followed by a stream of tears! My friend let me pour out my heart, and by the time we hung up, thirty minutes later, I was happy, smiling and laughing!
This friend sent me a text message which was a form of compassion used by the Lord to brighten up my day!
I've known and loved this next friend for about five years. She knows I live with a chronic illness and that I battle symptoms on a daily basis.
She doesn't just "pity" me, she goes out of her way to private message me on facebook. She sends Scripture verses in picture form. Greetings just to say, "Hi", messages to let me know she's praying for me or just wanting to know how I'm feeling!
This friend sends me messages through facebook which is a form of compassion used by the Lord to brighten up my days!
I heard last week from another very good friend whom I've known and loved for over twenty plus years. She, too, was aware I was experiencing an exceptionally difficult time. So what did she do?
She sent me a very beautiful card, but it was the personal words which she wrote that were the true treasure. The fact she included a message to Brian made it even more special! Her words were uplifting, reassuring, like a cold drink of water in a desert land.
This friend sent me a card which is a form of compassion used by the Lord to brighten up my day!
I chose these three examples for two reasons.
First, to show how simple showing compassion to others truly can be.
Secondly, to demonstrate that if you are like me, who deals with a daily chronic illness and can't get out of your house often, you can STILL be a compassionate person.
You can text others from your home.
You can make a simple phone call to someone who is struggling, and offer them a listening ear. But be sure NOT to make the conversation ALL about yourself! Allow the other person to do the talking. If anything turn the talk towards the Lord!
You can send encouraging private messages through facebook or Instagram.
If you can't get out to buy a card, you can find free e-cards in which to send to others.
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May God Bless You,