Seven of us were attending a musical production at a crowded amusement park. Wanting to sit together, we tried to squeeze into one row. But as we did, a woman rushed between us. My wife mentioned to her that we wanted to stay together, but the woman quickly said, “Too bad,” as she and her two companions pushed on into the row.
As three of us sat one row behind the other four, my wife, Sue, noticed that the woman had an adult with her who appeared to have special needs. She had been trying to keep her little group together so she could take care of her friend. Suddenly, our irritation faded. Sue said, “Imagine how tough things are for her in a crowded place like this.” Yes, perhaps the woman did respond rudely. But we could respond with compassion rather than anger.
Wherever we go, we will encounter people who need compassion. Perhaps these words from the apostle Paul can help us view everyone around us in a different light—as people who need the gentle touch of grace. “As God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (Col. 3:12). He also suggests that we “bear with each other and forgive one another” (v. 13).
As we show compassion, we will be pointing others to the One who poured out His heart of grace and compassion on us.
Your compassions never fail, Father. May we mirror Your heart by showing compassion to others.
Compassion is understanding the troubles of others.
Compassion is not just feeling pity for a needy person; our emotions must move us to relieve the misery of that person. The apostle Paul calls us to “be kind and compassionate to one another” (Eph. 4:32) and “to follow God’s example” (5:1). Jesus commands us to be “compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate” (Luke 6:36
Imagine a world without compassion. What would it be like? How is showing compassion essential for God’s children?