Show us compassion. Teach us compassion.
sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.
"the victims should be treated with compassion"
pity, sympathy, empathy, fellow feeling, care, concern, solicitude, sensitivity, warmth, love, tenderness, mercy, leniency, tolerance, kindness, humanity, charity
"have you no compassion for a fellow human being?"
In scripture Compassion is 95 times out of 100 a word used in reference to God. It’s closely tied to and often translated as mercy. Which I have written about here.
TL;DR Mercy is translated from several Hebrew/Greek words but the one I like most is the Hebrew word “racham” it’s from the gut from the core of who you are. More accurately it’s from the womb, it has a motherly connotation.
So let’s skip the word study and talk about compassion with a couple of pillars for the purpose of this blog:
It is most often used when referring to God.
It’s from the womb; the place of creation.
Compassion, although a great word to flaunt, is horribly uncomfortable. It leads to vulnerability. It opens you up for hurt. It has no concern for self and all concern for others.
Today compassion is worn like fashion.
It’s twisted for politics.
It’s used for popularity.
But the truth is none of those are compassion, they are all about ego. They are all about how you appear to others. How your version of "compassion" makes you feel.
The best example of compassion is Jesus on the cross.
He was apprehended before sunrise, thrown into a flash trial, wrongly accused, spit on, beaten beyond recognition, had large nails driven through his flesh, abandoned by his closest friends… and as he was hanging, alone and life leaving his body in one of the most excruciating ways possible, he looked on his accusers, could probably see the ones that abandoned him off in the distance, saw his mother weeping, having insults hurled at him, there’s a good chance that people were throwing rocks and other objects at him… the whole time he was looking at the world screaming hate at him when he had done no wrong and he whispered forgiveness to ALL OF THEM,
When we talk about compassion, we look to God. God came in flesh and as we killed him he forgave us. Compassion is Jesus. I don’t think we can talk about compassion without that understanding.
When God created the world he breathed life. He did all of this through Jesus.
Now there’s the foundation. Jesus is everything and within that lies compassion.
So today when we see the word compassion thrown around we would be best served to view it through this lens. Is the word that is being used what we see exhibited on the cross? Is it self sacrificing or self glorifying? Is it used for self promotion or the promotion of others?
Compassion is an attribute of God. It was exhibited in fullness in Christ. So how do we engage that? We look to Christ. We live life with him. We open ourselves up to him in every moment. To be compassionate is to be aware of the presence of God in every moment. When we realize that every moment is sacred and in the presence of God we are more apt to be compassionate.