COMPASSION? We have a great and compassionate God after which to model ourselves. The Psalmist said, “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love: according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions,” (Psalm 51:1 NIV). Thank God He does just that. “But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness,” (Psalm 86:15 NIV). The Psalmist knew what he was talking about. Don’t we as Christians experience God’s love and faithfulness on a regular basis? “As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him,” (Psalm 103:13 NIV). As Christians we experience that over and over. So that we don’t doubt the Psalmist’s words the New Testament describes the actions of God’s Son the Lord Jesus Christ, “When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep, without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things,” (Mark 6:34 NIV). Over and over in the New Testament we see Jesus demonstrating the compassion of God on those around Him by healing them, feeding them and comforting them. Someone has said, “Compassion means someone else’s heartbreak becomes your heartbreak. Another’s suffering becomes your suffering.” Certainly Jesus modeled that in His life and we as Christians should attain to that as well.
Compassion seems to be in short supply in our self-centered society. Compassion it appears has often been replaced by a “me first” attitude. And I hate to say it but often in our “caring professions” compassion has been replaced with “production” and “professionalism” in place of caring for the heartbroken and suffering. Numbers and dollars have taken the place of compassionate caring for all the needs of the human beings around us. As Christians we need to be acutely aware of the needs of those around us and exhibit the same care and compassion that Jesus did. And those of us in Pastoral ministry or the Health Care (ministry or industry?) need to be sure we walk and live as Jesus did. The Great Physician of our body, soul, and spirit is a living example (He is alive you know) of how compassion should be operating in our lives. Compassion demonstrated toward others will often be more valuable to them than other thing we may say or do.