Often we find ourselves in a place that feels dark.
We look at the world around us and see tragedy and poverty; we watch as governments fail to care for their people, natural disasters devastate land and lives. We want to do something, we long to help. We feel compassionate. Dictionary.com defines compassion as, “a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.” Earlier this week, a team from University Fellowship Church, compelled by compassion, traveled to Haiti and helped to give our artisan room a makeover. They saw a need, and they acted!
The bible speaks of compassion on many occasions, one being Colossians 3:12, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” As we read this we see that we are designed to be compassionate with the world around us. When we are loved by God, we in turn want to love others in the same way. When others experience the love of God through us, they want to give that love out. It’s a chain reaction.
So what does it look like to live a compassionate life?
Compassion looks a lot like rolling up your sleeves to work alongside each other to make something better. Not being afraid to ask others how you can help or what needs to be done. It involves listening to someone’s story, getting to know a community you might not have before. Often, it means getting out of your comfort zone! It is not motivated by ego, or a desire for recognition, but rather “humility, gentleness and patience”. And there is never an act to small to be insignificant in the Kingdom of God.
A life of compassion is possible wherever you are, whether that be in your neighborhood, your workplace, your city or even another country you never dreamed of finding yourself in. So go, as beloved children of God, and love others as the same.