Tag Archive for compassion


When a need stirs your compassion, what do you do next? Jesus was frequently moved with compassion, and whenever He was, He always took immediate action to meet the need before Him.

  • He taught and healed the crowds, then sent His disciples to do the same. (Matthew 9:36 – 10:8)
  • He fed the hungry. (Matthew 14:14; 15:32; Mark 6:34; 8:2)
  • He gave the blind their sight. (Matthew 20:34)
  • He touched the untouchable leper and healed him. (Mark 1:41)
  • In the middle of a funeral, Jesus felt compassion for the bereaved widow and raised her son back to life. (Luke 7:13)

All that is fine for the Son of God, but what about us? We can’t feed thousands with a boy’s lunch, or give blind men their sight, or heal all the sick, or raise the dead. What are we to do when we are moved with compassion?

Jesus answered this question through three of His most memorable parables. In each, a human being like us is moved with compassion and takes action in response. These parables point the way for us.

  • We can use what we have to help the needy as we encounter them. The Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37) was moved with compassion toward a needy person of a different race. He used his own time, energy, and resources to help him.
  • In mercy, we can help restore those who are trying to rebuild their broken lives. While the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32) was still far away, the father saw him, felt compassion for him, and ran to him. He kissed and embraced him, then restored him to his former relationship by giving him a robe, a ring, and sandals. Then he threw a lavish party to celebrate his return.
  • We can show those who have wronged us the same compassion and forgiveness that God has shown us. In the story of the unforgiving servant (Matthew 18:21-35), when the master completely forgave the overwhelming debt of his servant, he expected the servant to do the same for his own debtors.

God moves us with compassion for a reason. Don’t be satisfied with simply feeling the sentiment. Use what the Lord has given you and reach out to help the needy. 

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Lord, Keep Us Reaching
Printed Music & Lyrics

In Someone Else’s Skin

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:32, NASB)

The next time you have a headache or are tired or have a sore throat, look at the people around you and ask yourself this:

What would it feel like to be in their skin? How would it be to deal with their discomforts,

  • to be their size, shape, and weight?
  • to wake up every day in their home, to their family, with their concerns, temptations, and weaknesses?
  • to see the world through their eyes, as colored by their memories?

We are frail, physical creatures. Everyone around you is a frail, physical creature. Today each of them could use a little patience, a little understanding…a little compassion.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Love One Another
Printed Music & Lyrics

Forgive Me, Lord

If anyone has material possessions and
sees his brother in need but has no pity on him,
how can the love of God be in him?
(1 John 3:17, NIV)

I watched as a flock of Canadian geese walked through the grass, feeding together. And I wondered:

How would I react if I saw one bird aggressively taking most of the food, hoarding it from the others, letting them starve?

Father, I wonder how I look to You in my wealth and comfort while so many of Your dear ones are in desperate need. You provide enough for all of us, as you do for the birds. But I use so much and share so little.

Forgive me, Father. Teach me how You want me to live. Teach me how to love those in need.

Listen…and sing if you want:
Hymn: Open Your Hand
Printed Music & Lyrics

The Good Samaritan

“’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” 

But the expert in the law wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 

In reply Jesus said, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 

“But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return I will reimburse you for any extra expense you have.’ 

“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” 

The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” (Luke 10:27, 29-37, NIV) 

I see myself in this story. But I am not always the Samaritan.

Sometimes I am the expert in the law. God’s wisdom for us is clear and simple: treat your neighbor the way you want to be treated. But when I fail, when the golden rule isn’t comfortable, I try to “justify” myself with questions and reasoning: “But who is my neighbor? How far does my responsibility really go?”

Sometimes I am the priest. Though a neighbor’s need is obvious, I have something more pressing to do, and more convenient. I pretend not to see.

But the closer I grow to God, the more His love grips my heart. The more I love Him, the more I care about those He loves. How can I ignore those that matter so deeply to Him?

Every parent, every loving spouse, every true friend knows that love has its own logic and its own agenda. It doesn’t always make sense to others. That is the logic and agenda my Father wants for me as I live in this needy world, full of people He loves. In every needy “neighbor” He wants me to see my child, my spouse, my dear friend…myself.

When I am needy and hurting, I am desperate to see that Good Samaritan come along. Father, help me to be a neighbor to the needy persons I meet.

Listen…and sing if you want:
Hymn: The Good Samaritan
Printed Music & Lyrics