How to Imitate God’s Compassion
Posted on July 03 2018
How to Imitate God’s Compassion
While last week I reminded everyone how important and powerful our words are in Guardians of the Mouth blog post, this week I want to discuss the need for compassion in an increasingly challenging, innovative but also a self-destructive world.
But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness (Psalm 86:15).
There are dozens of verses in the Bible like the one above, both in the Old and New Testament that speak of God’s mercy and compassion; in fact, many of Jesus’s teachings and actions (miracles) are based on His love and compassion for the people (e.g., Matthew 14:13-14).
The word compassion means sympathy, kindness, and a feeling of understanding of others’ suffering; in Latin, compassion means to “suffer with,” thus we identify with others’ suffering and heartbreak, not only understanding what they are going through, but ultimately feeling their hardship. This deeper feeling leads us to empathize with others and also changing our actions to reflect our goodness and love for those in need.
God had mercy and compassion on Israel and those who he loved like Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Job, Isaiah, Jacob, Paul, Peter, Mary Magdalene, and many others. We have witnessed how God saves his people on numerous occasions while also answers the people’s prayers.
In the New Testament, Jesus has compassion on the two blind men found begging on the roadside (Matthew 20:30-34) and the one who was blind since birth (John, 9:1–12). He has compassion on the mother whose only son died and as a result, He showed His mercy by bringing him to life (Luke 7:12-15); he is compassionate toward the Centurion, healing his servant, the little girl he wakes from the dead, the lepers he healed, and many others. Since there are too many examples and bible verses to mention, here is a link to 100 Bible Verses about God’s Compassion to remind us of what compassion means in the eye of our God and how should we be in turn with others.
However, God not only shows His compassion towards us, but He also demands we are compassionate to others. He tells us in Ephesians 4:32 to “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as Christ God forgave you.” He tells us to act but also to live a life of compassion and love towards others, defending and helping others who cannot help or defend themselves (Proverbs 31:8-9).
Compassion should not only be practiced on Sundays after church but every single day; we have so many opportunities to be compassionate towards others and self. Compassion does not mean just feeding the hungry or giving money to a homeless person but it also means not to be judgmental when someone is struggling and instead of hearing our opinion of how they messed up, they should hear our prayer and words of encouragement.
Compassion also means to be kind and thoughtful to your elderly neighbor who perhaps is widowed/alone and has no one to help them; checking on them regularly and just sharing love would mean so much to them. Compassion means to check on your dear friend who perhaps is struggling or went through a rough time and now trying to piece together their life; compassion means to genuinely be happy when someone is happy for their success or sad for their loss.
Compassion also means forgiveness of those who trespassed against us but also forgiveness of self; in addition, if we are to have compassion towards others, we should also have compassion towards ourselves, as well as be loving, kind, caring, and graceful towards our actions and feelings.
Every day and with every person we meet we can practice compassion which is intentional; it takes mindfulness and a willing spirit and heart to choose to be good, kind, and caring towards self and others. Therefore, we must be quick to listen and slow to speak so that we do not miss the opportunity of making a difference in someone’s life especially now more than ever when the world is plagued by hurt, suffering, strife, and a lack of love.
How do you choose to be compassionate and what does compassion mean to you? Would love to hear your comments so please share below.
Also, Happy 4th of July! May our nation be blessed and may we be united and strong!
God Bless You and God Bless the USA!