God's Exquisite Garden


Print version

The word compassion means: (1) a deep awareness and sympathy of the sufferings of another. It also has a second definition: (2) the humane quality of understanding the suffering of others and wanting to do something about it.

In addition to having the sorrow that is felt for the suffering of others, it is a willingness and an urge to assist them. The word actually means to do something about feeling sorry, to be affected by their situation. It is to enter into one's sorrow and pain. When we feel true compassion, we will be moved inwardly. Having empathy; to have one's heart reach out toward the needs of others. To be compassionate, to pity; to be kindhearted. It means to be tenderhearted; to be sensitive and affectionate, to be moved with tender feelings over the pain and sufferings of others.

We are instructed by Peter to be united in brotherly love. He means there should be no fussing and arguing within the Lord's body. Also in Mark 5:21-43 we read of Jesus healing the woman with the issue of blood and raising to life again the daughter of the ruler of the synagogue. The Lord Jesus Christ demonstrated His great power with His enormous compassion. His death was motivated by compassion, as was His power over nature and evil spirits.

Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing. I Peter 3:8-9(NKJV)

There are many examples given in the Bible where we read of Jesus' compassion. His compassion was shown for a demon-possessed man who lived among tombs. People such as He were considered unclean by rabbis of the day. Polite society avoided them. Our Lord reached out and helped those he encountered who were in need. He had compassion for a diseased woman, and for a dead girl's family.

In Job 6:1-30 we are told how compassion can go beyond words. Job said that his friend Eliphaz's advice was like eating the tasteless white of an egg. This shows us how ill- advised counsel is distasteful when someone is going through a severe trial. Inside they are upset, even though they may listen quietly and politely. We should be slow in giving advice to those who are hurting. Many times they often need compassion more than they need advice.

In Mark 2:1-12 we read of the paralytic's need and how it moved his friends to action. The action they took was to bring their friend to Jesus. There are many people who have both physical and spiritual needs you can meet or help meet. This can be done by yourself or with others who also are concerned. We see how the human need moved his four friends to action, may it also move you to an action that is compassionate.

Our Lord God is compassionate. A ray of hope was seen in all of the sin and sorrow surrounding him by Jeremiah. Lamentations 3:22 "Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not." When we ask, the Lord will willingly respond. God's steadfast love and mercy are greater than any sin in your life, and the Lord promises forgiveness. We sing a song that contains words that apply here. Some of the words are - "The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end...."

Our Lord Jesus Christ took the term a step further. He used it to help illustrate the attitude that should capture the life of every believer. In the parable of the unforgiving servant, the master had compassion and forgave the servant's debt. This is told in Matthew 18:27. We also see where the prodigal son' s father had compassion on him ( Luke 15: 20 ). The parable of the Good Samaritan who had compassion on the injured traveler is told in Luke 10:33. The Lord had compassion on the crowd (Mark 6:34).

This compassion will stand ready to assist the one who is sorrowing. Paul preached that God is the source of all the believer's ability for showing true compassion. In Colossians. 3:12 we see "Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering."

There has been so much mercy that God has had upon us. The one thing we need do is to show mercy unto others. Pity and compassion should overflow our hearts for the poor, aged, lost, lonely, wayward, hungry, empty, orphaned, diseased, hungry, unclothed and hurting. The list could go on and on, of course. The important point is for us to see is that the believer no longer has a right to overlook the needy of the world.

Now he is a new man. The garment of compassion should be a part of the clothing of a new man. The clothing of compassion should always be worn by the believer. The believer should reach out and try to help others through their suffering. Compassion is the seat of man's affections. Of all human emotions, compassion is the deepest movement of emotions. It is moved within the deepest part of a person's being.

In Luke 7:13 we read of the widow whose son had died " ...and when the Lord saw her, he had compassion and said unto her, Weep not." The Lord had compassion as He assured her. He saw the woman and had compassion on her. Let us note these three facts.

(1) We read that it was" the Lord" who saw her. Luke is making the point that it was "the Lord", the Sovereign Power of the universe. He saw this woman and saw that she was truly heartbroken.

(2) We see that it was "the Lord" who had compassion on her. The fact is startling, that the Sovereign Power had compassion on a mere woman. He was not unattached to the people of the earth and its inhabitants. Jesus was extremely interested, He was interested enough to be looking and noticing. He was filled with concern and full of compassion for all of the heartbroken. The Lord spoke and gave assurance to a simple woman. The apostle and writer Luke stresses that it was "the Lord" who spoke and gave assurance to a simple woman. He gives great assurance to men. His Word, the Bible, gives us great assurance.

(3) We see that our Lord God is very interested in our affairs. There are many examples in the Bible of compassion. The three examples of compassion that I have chosen are the Lord God and Jesus Christ. They shared the suffering of another in Deuteronomy 30:3 and Matthew 9:36.

Our Lord God is revealed clearly as a God full of compassion. This extends to the entire human race, which He effected not only a temporal, but a spiritual and eternal deliverance by giving up His own Son to the death of the cross. This was done in order to save us from sin, with its consequences. It is seen in that Jesus Christ died for the sins of all mankind, thereby gaining a new, wider people for Himself, more devoted and more filled with the expression of His own Spirit.

Therefore, all who are Christians must necessarily cultivate compassion and show mercy. This is to be shown just as He is merciful. Christianity needs to always be compassionate

Larger image

There is also the compassion of humans told of in the Scriptures. In Matthew 18:27 we read of human compassion being shown. I Peter 3:8 the apostle Peter tells us "Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:" The world that we live in desperately needs pity. It is a world of tremendous suffering.

There are so many people who suffer and keep on suffering never having their needs met. Thus many in the world have become hardened to others' sufferings. Many hoard and build up assets when they could be sacrificing and reaching out so that they can meet the world's needs. This should not be said of the believer. It is not being said that believers should be without the necessities of life. All believers need to have pity when they see the sufferings of others. Pity is to be felt by believers to the point they are moved to act. These actions will include sacrificing and reaching out to meet others' needs.

Notice how compassion will not leave any room for selfishness. True compassion will have a person deny himself so he can help others in their grim needs and sufferings. As people impart and assist others, they are drawn together. People being united can be done by compassion - when a person shows a feeling for another and sacrifices - reaching out to help each other. A great bond is formed between the believer and the ones that he ministers unto.

This is an article that when I read it, I cried. My mother died of cancer in 1999. This brought back many memories. I sat there and visualized such a wonderful, compassionate hospital room scene. Here a loving grandmother did all she could to comfort her granddaughter. Her presence was extremely needed, even though she knew there was nothing she could do to relieve the pain. It shows what true compassion should be, as we relate to it from one human standpoint to another.


And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ Matthew 25:40 (NKJV)

Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. John 15:13 (NKJV)

Len Sweet in Postmodern Pilgrims recounts a letter a physician wrote to a church-related magazine:

Today I visited an eight-year-old girl dying of cancer. Her body was disfigured by her disease and its treatment. She was in almost constant pain. As I entered her room, I was overcome immediately by her suffering, so unjust, unfair, unreasonable. Even more overpowering was the presence of her grandmother lying in bed beside her with her huge body embracing this precious, inhuman suffering.

I stood in awe, for I knew I was on holy ground... The suffering of innocent children is horrifying beyond words. I will never forget the great, gentle arms and body of this grandmother. She never spoke while I was there. She was holding and participating in suffering that she could not relieve, and somehow her silent presence was relieving it. No words could express the magnitude of her love.

Citation: Leonard Sweet, Postmodern Pilgrims (Broadman & Holman, 2000), p. 16; submitted by Merle Mees; Topeka, Kansas Perfect Illustrations

Discussion and study questions:
(1) How important is it to practice compassion?
(2) Do you act when you see someone's need?

Copyright 2007 Linda Lawrence

Lessons in this Series

About The Author

Print Version of All Lessons

Lesson 1

Lesson 2
The Mind of Christ

Lesson 3
Imitate Christ

Lesson 4

Lesson 5
Taming the Tongue

Lesson 6
Our Legacy

Lesson 7

Lesson 8

Lesson 9

Lesson 10

Lesson 11

Lesson 12

Lesson 13
Improper Language

. .

Lesson 14

Lesson 15

Lesson 16

Lesson 17

Lesson 18

Lesson 19
Strength to
Endure Suffering

Lesson 20
Grieve Not
The Spirit

Lesson 21

Lesson 22

Lesson 23

Lesson 24
Purity in Heart

Lesson 25

Lesson 26

. .

Lesson 27

Lesson 28

Lesson 29

Lesson 30
Inner Peace

Lesson 31

Lesson 32
Our Example

Lesson 33

Lesson 34

Lesson 35
Testing Of Our Faith

Lesson 36

Lesson 37

Lesson 38
Problems Concerning

Lesson 39
Practical Results

. .

Lesson 40
Good Works

Lesson 41
Women Teachers
in Bible Times

Lesson 42
Women Teachers

Lesson 43
Good Friends

Lesson 44
Choosing a Husband

Lesson 45
Choosing a Wife

Lesson 46
The Exemplary Daughter
Part 1

Lesson 47
The Exemplary Daughter
Part 2

Lesson 48
The Ideal Mother
Part 1

Lesson 49
The Ideal Mother
Part 2

Lesson 50
The Home As God
Would Have It
Part 1

Lesson 51
The Home As God
Would Have It
Part 2

Lesson 52
. .

Lesson 53
Marriage As God
Would Have It
Part 1

Lesson 54
Marriage As God
Would Have It
Part 2

Lesson 55
The Virtuous Woman
Part 1

Lesson 56
The Virtuous Woman
Part 2

Lesson 57
The Virtuous Woman
Part 3

Lesson 58

Lesson 59

Lesson 60
Pride & Haughtiness

Lesson 61

Lesson 62

Lesson 63

Lesson 64

Lesson 65

. .

Lesson 66

Lesson 67

Lesson 68
Infinite God

Lesson 69
Holiness of God

Lesson 70
of God

Lesson 71

Lesson 72
of God

Lesson 73
of God

. .

423864: Compassion Compassion
By James W. Goll & Michal Ann Goll / Destiny Image

In a world where fear and selfishness have become the ruling powers in men and women's hearts, the Golls offer a personal invitation to forsake that world and enter a world where compassion rules. Through the example of such great women as Florence Nightingale, Saint Teresa, Catherine Booth, and Heidi Baker, Compassion will help you discover the joy of committing your life to a cause higher than your own personal life. You'll learn to weep for those who are in great pain and discover the delight of lending a hand to those in need. This is your passport into a world where compassion rules!

Photos courtesy Stock Xchng Also Stock Xchng and Stock Xchng