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Compassion

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Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.”

Colossians 3:14

I’m not a very fashionable person. I love clothes as much as the next woman, but I struggle with pairing patterns, prints and colours together. I try and keep it simple with dresses that don’t need to be matched with anything, and subtle, neutral colours. Kudos to all you women out there who excel in the fashion department!

There is an article of clothing though that we all should be brilliant at putting on, and that is love. This scripture tells us to “clothe ourselves with love” The message translation tells us to “wear love” for it is our “basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.”

Love works in all seasons of life. Whether the sun is shining and life is good, or things have taken a turn for the worst. Sincere, compassionate, genuine love will never go out of style!

Love changes situations and hearts.

Love heals and restores.

Love forgives and is able to move on.

Lord, help me to love others and myself as you love others and as you love me. Help me to see with eyes of compassion, and to have a heart that is fuelled by your love.

 “Then will I teach transgressors thy ways…”Psalm 51:13

I was once a transgressor. Yes, I was that person you saw with her hands raised one week and then slowly fade into a distant memory. I was that girl who was lost, then saved, then lost again. What I needed, and what every transgressor needs, is love. Love that surpasses judgment. Love that overwhelms disappointment. And, love that abounds.

The Bible clearly states that all have sinned and have come short of the glory of God. If you have been in the place of a transgressor, then you know that people deal with bitterness, condemnation, and the fear of judgement.

We need to revisit God’s mercies often. 

After God reignites the joy of His salvation in our lives then He can use us to reconnect with those who have lost their fervency for the things of God. Call someone today and ask them out for coffee or dinner. If you see them in the mall, express to them how much you miss seeing them at church.

When we reconnect with someone who has fallen away from God, it opens a door of opportunity to witness and to reacquaint him or her with the happiness they once had. They will leave you thinking to themselves, “Wow! I wish I had that kind of joy in my life again.”

Prayer: Lord, I pray that you would divinely order my steps today so I can reconnect with someone who has lost connection with you. Give me Your eyes so I can see people like you do and help me to love as You love. I desire to be compassionate and long-suffering like You are.

“And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. So He began to teach them many things.” (Mark 6:34, New King James Version).

Over and over in the Gospels, we are told about the compassion of Jesus, whether ministering one on one or to the multitudes. Putting this into everyday speech, some might say Jesus felt sorry for them; but compassion has a much deeper meaning than pity or sympathy. It’s more than a pat on the back, a word of encouragement, or just being kind to someone. According to Webster Dictionary, compassion literally means “suffering with another.” In other words, we don’t just realize they have pain, we actually feel that pain with them. It is responding to the other person’s need as if it were our own.

Hebrews 13:3 shows us how true compassion works. It tells us to “remember those in prison as though you were in prison with them, and those ill-treated as though you too felt their torment” (New English Translation).

The Compassion of Christ

There were many traveling teachers or rabbis around the time of Christ. We know He was God robed in flesh, but what set His ministry apart from other teachers? Was it perhaps His compassion, that ability to put Himself into our shoes and feel the rock that’s bruising us as we walk? He never lost sight of what others felt and their suffering.

It is so easy to move through life distracted and oblivious to what’s happening to those around us. It’s true that many wear a mask, hiding from others what they are going through. If we ask them how they are doing, we often hear “fine, just fine.” But if we look behind the mask, we recognize their pain. That’s why we should pray for sensitivity and awareness.

Compassion Is Action

Compassion is not an emotion—it’s an action. It motivates us to help and support each other when there is a need. Author Karen Armstrong said, “In compassion, when we feel with the other, we dethrone ourselves from the center of our world and we put another person there.” Isn’t this what the Lord did in our behalf? He stepped off the throne and into our world because of His great compassion. Psalm 86:15 describes Him as being “full of compassion.” It is part of His character.  If we desire to be like Him, we will also step off the throne of our personal little kingdom to reach out to others with that same compassion.

“Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous” (I Peter 3:8, NKJV).

Prayer: Lord, You are a God of compassion and mercy. You loved us enough to enter our world and step into our messy lives. Thank You for being willing to “suffer together.” Help me to recognize the needs of others and be willing to show them true compassion by feeling their need as if it were my need. Help me to always show compassion for those around me. That’s the only way I can really be like You.