For the past couple of years now I have meditated on the beautiful fruit of gentleness and worked and prayed that God would bless me with this most valuable character trait.
Now, through the course of a present trial, compassion has become my theme. I can’t get away from thinking about it and meditating over it. So precious has it been to me in the midst of tumults, fears and insecurities.
Compassion- beautiful, calming and precious compassion. Another rare fruit indeed. A fruit that I am praying will be imbedded into the very depths of my being through this dark tunnel in which I am passing through.
I have always felt myself to be a compassionate person yet I am learning that compassion needs a very deep root system if it is to stay intact, and the roots of compassion will only go deep in contrary conditions; in heart-wrenching trials.
Even the Hebrew and Greek deffinitions of compassion seem to get deeper and deeper as you read each one:
Compassion- to spare, take pity upon, have mercy on… to find compassion, be loved; feelings of compassion are usually accompanied by acts of compassion… to show pity on another person who is in serious need, usually with a focus on an act of kindness that will help meet that need… to deal gently… to sympathize with, touched with the feeling…sympathetic.
It has been said that people don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care. How true this is exemplified when we look upon our Saviour and how He dealt with souls.
First, He healed, He gave, He sacrificed. He showed the multitudes how much he loved and cared about them. He took such pity upon them- THEN- they chose to sit and listen to Him and they eagerly drank in all He had to say. They wanted to listen to Him and to be with Him. He had shown them so much mercy, taken such pity upon their seemingly hopeless conditions. He had brought hope back into their lives. They naturally flocked to Him, so drawn were they to this beautiful, compassionate man. Even when He tried to get away across the lake, they followed Him over. When the man with legion was healed, he sat at Jesus’ feet and hung upon His every word. He cried, “Lord, I want to go with you!” Whenever Mary and Martha heard He was in town, their hearts lept with great joy and they scrambled to prepare their home for His comfort. Zacheaus was full of joy and rapture that this gentle, compassionate man would want to come into his home and stay.
Story after story reveals people with a fervent, burning, love and desire to be with the LORD, all of which was preceeded by compassion eminating from this Holy Ghost filled man. How powerful compassion is!
Anyone can preach a message. Anyone can point out the faults and sins of another. But…
“Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way?” (going astray; beset by weaknesses) For He (Jesus) himself also is compassed with infirmity.” Hebrews 5:2
Who can take pity on them, have mercy, love them, show them concern through ‘acts of kindness’? Who can help meet their needs? Who can deal gently with them? Who can sympathize and be touched with the feeling of their infirmity? Who? Who is willing?
“But whosoever hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have a need, and shutteth up his bowels (his heart) of compassion, how dwelleth the love of God in Him?” 1 John 3: 17-18
If we believe we have the love of God dwelling in us let us consider that love accordingly:
“But when He saw the multitude, He was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.” Matt 9:36
“But thou, O LORD, art a God FULL of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.” Ps. 86:15
“He hath made His wonderful works to be remembered: The LORD is gracious and FULL of compassion.” Ps. 111:4
“The LORD is gracious, and FULL of compassion; slow to anger, and great in mercy. The LORD is good to all; and his tender mercies are over all His workd. “ Ps 145: 8-9
“It is of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions FAIL NOT; They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness!” Lam 3: 22-23
What, we may wonder, are acts “moved by compassion”?
“For I was hungry, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison and ye came unto me.” Matt 25:35-36
But who are they that “shutteth up their bowels of compassion”?
verses 42-43 paraphrased-
I was hungry- you gave me nothing to satisfy my hunger: I was thirsty you brought no cool water in your hands: I was strange so you avoided me: I was vulnerable yet you offered no protection or strength: I was sick and I never saw you: I was in the prison house and you never sought to set me free.
“In as much as ye have done it to the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me” ~Jesus Christ
Who can have compassion? Who?