A terse definition from a popular dictionary is:
“Sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others”.
A more modern dictionary indicates:
“Compassion motivates people to go out of their way to help the physical, mental, or emotional pains of another”.
There is a well know saying in English:
“People do not care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”
There is a measure of truth in that.
But let us consider the compassion of Christ from two points.
First, there is the personal concern the Lord exhibited in his interaction with those among whom he moved during his time on earth.
Second, there was the teaching he did; he wove insights concerning divine sympathy into the fabric of his instruction.
There are 35 verses in the Gospels either showing Jesus’ compassion in action or His teaching showing how we should be compassionate towards others.
It should also be noted that Jesus’ treatment of women whilst He was on the earth was an act of compassion compared to the usual treatment they may have expected at that time. The woman at the well and the woman brought to Him who was caught in the act of adultery show His true compassion.
Also we note that Jesus has compassion for little children “suffer the little children to come unto me” is one verse many of us may remember from our Sunday School days.
On Wednesday 3rd April at 20:00, immediately after a shortened prayer meeting, we are host to a visitor from Compassion Switzerland.
Michelle is a young Filipino lady who had sponsorship from Compassion as she grew up, which enabled her to have a far better life than may have been expected as she grew up in very poor and humble circumstances. She is now repaying the compassion shown to her by her sponsor by herself running an agency in Manila helping people affected by trafficking.
Many people who are trafficked, whether as sex workers or for slave labour, are led to believe it is their fault they are in the situation and I believe the first point of access when we show compassion is not to judge the individual but to try and change the circumstances that led to the ‘victim’ being in the situation in the first place.
Please join us if you can to show support for Michelle and also to find out more about how you may be able to show your compassion to one of the many children requiring sponsorship at this time. You never know, your gift of compassion may enable a child to grow into an adult that can change the world in which we live.