Monday, August 19, 2013

Compassion

Recently I've been talking with my children about the word compassion.  They have even been given a "home" work assignment, writing a paper about compassion. The oldest boy has finished his paper, and does now seem to have some grasp on what the word means, but not to the extent I would like for him to have.  He'll have to do some more research, some more Bible reading.

I found this quote online, defining the word compassion:

Compassion literally means “to suffer together.” Among emotion researchers, it is defined as the feeling that arises when you are confronted with another’s suffering and feel motivated to relieve that suffering.

This quote and definition seem perfect for describing what compassion truly means.  I recently came up with my own quote for compassion. It's in the photo at the top of this post.  Compassion is caring, but caring to the extent that you want to do something about it.

My son used a very good illustration in his paper by using the story of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37 (click link to read passage).  In this story, a man was walking along the road and was attacked. The attackers beat him until he was half dead, leaving him on the side of the road.  A priest came by, saw the man, and stayed on the other side of the road.  A Levite came by, saw the man, and also passed by on the other side.  But a Samaritan, as he traveled down the road and saw the man, took pity on him. He had compassion. He stopped his traveling to care for the hurt man. He took him to an inn, stayed with him for a night to care for him, then left money to help the man continue to get help and care.

Too many of us are like the other two travelers in the story.  We're too busy to get involved and care about the needs and hurts of others.  We're too selfish with our time, our talents, our money to take care of and share with others.  We're so caught up in our own lives and circumstances to have the compassion for others that Jesus wants us to have.  Many times that compassion can be shown in our own homes....with our own family members.  Compassion is caring.  Compassion is love.

How can you show compassion to someone this week?  What selfish desire can you give up so that you can care for the needs and hurts of others?  How can you show that you care?  How can you show the love of Jesus?

1 comment:

Wa Wa Waughs said...

the Good Samaritan story never gets old!

 
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