Compassion: More than an Option?

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Sometimes it seems easier to close our eyes to all the pain and sorrow around us. Certainly it can be more convenient for us to ignore what we see. And, it is more comfortable to not let ourselves feel for people and respond to their needs.

But, is compassion, for the believer, optional? If we want to be Christ-like, then we must answer no, that it is not optional. We must both feel compassion and respond, as we saw in a previous post.

If we get beyond the example of Jesus, we will find Scripture, like Colossians 3:12-14, that lets us know that compassion is more than an option.

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Why Compassion Must be Seen as More Than an Option:

  1. Compassion is an identifying mark of belonging to God, who is “the Father of compassion and God of all comfort” (2 Cor. 1:3).

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people”

Compassion is not reserved for people with the spiritual gift of mercy. Rather, if you are one of His, you are to be compassionate regardless of gifting, personality, or background.

“clothe yourselves with compassion”

Compassion is something that is outwardly manifested, something we put on that others around us can see and thereby know that we belong to Him.

Also Read:  Consideration & Compassion Showcase God’s Love for People

  1. Compassion is the logical reaction to who we are in Him and His love toward us.

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved”

We are set apart to live according to God’s standards and to love as He loves. He is “the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God” (2 Cor. 1:3-4). Compassion can’t help but grow out of holiness and knowing how much we are loved by God.

  1. Compassion is commanded which means it is not an option.

“clothe yourselves with compassion”

We must be intentional about putting on compassion. We don’t wait until we “feel” moved or when it is convenient or comfortable for us.

  1. Compassion is an expression of love, the Greatest Commandment.

“And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”

Compassion, along with kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, and forgiveness helps define love as seen in 1 Corinthians 13. If we are going to fulfill the Greatest Commandment, we must be clothed with compassion.

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