Compassion–It’s More Than A Feeling

“And he answered, “You shall love the Lord you God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.”

“But a Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion.”
Luke 10: 27 and 33

In Luke 10, Jesus told the story of the Good Samaritan after someone asked him to define specifically what he meant when he said ‘neighbor’ in his statement about loving your neighbor as yourself. The story goes like this: A man was robbed, stripped, beaten severely and left to die. Before long a religious man came by, saw him and then passed by on the other side of the road to avoid him. Another religious man came by and did the same thing.

Finally, a man of Samaria came by. Jesus tells us that he felt compassion for the man; he bandaged his wounds, took him to get care, stayed with him overnight, and paid for his care.

This Samaritan felt compassion and proceeded to help this man as much as he could. He spent his time and money to help him. Notice that the feeling ‘compassion’ was followed by action. It didn’t matter that these men, under different circumstances may not have liked each other.

We show compassion by doing something. Listen to others and work to understand them, give an apology when it is called for, recognize that others have problems that aren’t shared with everyone, notice your own feelings and the feelings of others, stay far from gossip, and be friendly and helpful even when tired or carrying personal burdens.

The actions that accompany compassion can change your environment for the better whether it is at home, at work, or out shopping. We do not love our neighbor without being compassionate, and we cannot love God without loving our neighbor.

Father, show me who needs my compassion today. Help me to recognize the different ways I can make a difference to someone. Help me to be a blessing to those around me. Amen.