Posted by: Jo | September 1, 2017

Showing Compassion

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”

(Colossians 3: 12)

Compassion01These last few weeks, my husband and I have spent many hours in hospital waiting rooms, as we were both having tests that were punctuated by sometimes long intervals in between, which meant just sitting and watching the ever-changing crowd of patients doing the same thing. While I was observing those around us. I was struck by the outpouring of compassion I noticed over and over again between patients and those who were accompanying them. One particular, very, old couple, really touched me. The compassion flowing from the old husband to the old sick wife was beautiful to watch as he stroked her hand and constantly rearranged the rug over her knees to ensure she was warm. His compassion for her was a true testimony of his love.

I also noticed compassion in a different form between nurses and their patients. They may have not known who their patients were, but compassion for another’s suffering was again very evident.

When Paul is writing to the Colossians, he urges them to clothe themselves with compassion. When we clothe ourselves with garments our garments cover us. Paul is urging us as well to cover ourselves with compassion so we can have plenty to share with others. The Psalmists describe our Heavenly Father as being full of compassion;

“The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion.” (Psalm 116: 5)

Jesus himself repeatedly displayed this beautiful characteristic. Compassion02

“When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” (Matthew 9: 36)

So, what does it mean for us to display compassion?

If we truly wish to follow Jesus this is an important attribute to cultivate. Compassion means being more aware of others around us and not to be concerned totally with our own welfare. Put others before ourselves. Try to see others’ struggles, rather than judge their faults. It is so easy to blame others for what we see is their own foolish actions and somehow assume we wouldn’t have made those same mistakes. When we realise how our Heavenly Father repeatedly forgives us for our foolish mistakes, it helps us have sympathy for those who need our compassion rather than a long list of dos and don’ts, we think might fix the problem

Compassion03I think Paul sums this problem in a very direct way and a wonderful message for all of us to follow;

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”  (2 Corinthians 1: 3 – 4)


Responses

  1. there is very much to be compassionate about these days, one could say.what challenges we are given and look at all the help we have, in Our Lord and Saviour.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful message Jo. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person


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