This word is defined in the dictionary like this: ‘Compassion involves allowing ourselves to be moved by the plight or suffering of another and experiencing the motivation to help alleviate the situation and console the person.’ In Latin it means ‘co-suffering’ and is much deeper than empathy, sensitivity or kindness, although they are elements of compassion.
Compassion means that someone else’s struggle or heartache becomes your heartache too. It’s a heart response not a mind set or intent. Although it inevitably leads to action it is primarily an emotion/motivation. Jesus found Himself responding to what confronted Him from a position of being emotionally moved and affected. His tender loving heart initiated a reflex response which was, of course, in tune with Father.
As followers of Jesus we have a clear example to follow: “Show compassion for others, just as your heavenly Father overflows with mercy and compassion for all.” (Luke 6:36)
Jesus said, “If only you could understand the words, ‘I want compassion more than sacrifice.’” (Matthew 12:7)
“If you free your heart of greed, showing compassion and true generosity to the poor, you have more than clean hands; you will be clean within.” (Luke 11:41)
“Discover creative ways to encourage others and to motivate them towards acts of compassion, doing beautiful works as expressions of a heart of love.” (Hebrews 10:24)
“Be kind and compassionate to one another.” (Ephesians 4:32)
How does compassion exhibit itself in your everyday life?
As compassion is not a ‘learned behaviour’ but a heart response, what ‘heart surgery’ do you need Holy Spirit to perform to increase your compassion?
– Navigator Jo