Summary: We are going to continue to discuss things that we as human beings want more of…things like joy and freedom…but today we are going to talk about something that we not only want more of, but we seem to expect more of others when we are hurting or in trouble…compassion
When it comes to compassion, I can’t help but think of the following story…
While pulling out of her driveway, Georgene noticed a mangled ball of fur laying in the street. She pulled the car back into the driveway and walked over to discover that her son’s cat had been run over by a car. Not wanting to upset Billie, she decided to dispose of the “remains” and deal with the demise of the cat when Billie noticed it was gone. The next day, Billie asked about his cat. Georgene patiently explained to Billie that his cat had died and was in heaven with God. Billie looked at her with disbelief in his eyes and said, “What does God want with a dead cat?”
We are going to continue to discuss things that we as human beings want more of…things like joy and freedom…but today we are going to talk about something that we not only want more of, but we seem to expect more of others when we are hurting or in trouble…compassion
A general definition of compassion is sympathy and concern for the sufferings of others and a desire to alleviate such suffering.
The Hebrew and Greek words translated “compassion” in the Bible mean “to have mercy, to feel sympathy and to have pity.”
We know that, according to the Bible, God is “a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness” (Psalm 86:15).
Like all of God’s attributes, His compassion is infinite and eternal. His compassions never fail; they are new every morning
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23).
We are called as people who call ourselves Christians…to strive to become more and more like God and His nature…putting aside our own desires to become like Jesus…
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, demonstrated all of the Father’s attributes, including His compassion.
John wrote in his gospel account
When Jesus saw His friends weeping at the grave of Lazarus, He felt compassion for them and wept alongside them 33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 34 “Where have you laid him?” he asked. “Come and see, Lord,” they replied.
35 Jesus wept. (John 11:33-35).
Jesus is the ultimate example of compassion…How do you measure up in the compassion arena?
Are you compassionate to those that are affected by this pandemic, or are you simply worried about you own feelings?
Do you consider the thoughts and fears of others or are you one of those with fears and concerns that are throwing evil eye stares at those that are not wearing mask?
Each one is suffering in different ways.
Some are suffering because they are now at home with their children all day and feel trapped by this madness. Others have had the virus hit home and have lost loved ones because it, yet others with underlaying conditions that put them in the high risk categories are paralyzed with fear and dread if they were to contract it.
So who deserves the compassion of others?
Jesus wasn’t picky on whom he demonstrated compassion…
When He saw the large crowds as sheep without a shepherd, His compassion led Him to teach them the things the false shepherds of Israel had abandoned.
The priests and scribes were proud and corrupt; they despised the common people and neglected them, but Jesus had compassion on them, and He taught and loved them.
When asked what was the greatest commandment, Jesus responded that it is to love God with all our heart, mind and strength.
But He added that the second commandment “is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself’” (Matthew 22:34-40).
The problem is that we find ourselves like Linus from the peanuts saying
I LOVE MANKIND ITS PEOPLE I CANT STAND…
You cant fully feel like you have the love of God in your heart if you find yourself not loving people…even the people that you find it hard to love…
We have those people in our lives and some are in our family or a coworker or even a neighbor…so maybe we should be like the Pharisee and ask Jesus and see if His response has changed…I really doubt it has!!!
The Pharisee had asked Him which single command of God is the greatest, but Jesus provided two, stating not only what we are to do, but also how to do it.
To love our neighbor as ourselves is the natural result of our loving devotion toward God.