Compassion: a definition

If you have noticed, I put a “Word of the Year” box over on my sidebar, there is also a link that will direct you to all my Word of the Year Posts as we journey through this year working on the things God is laying on our hearts. I’d love to hear about your Word of the Year Journey’s too…so if you blog about your word of the year and don’t think I’ll see it, please share a link with me!

I looked up a definition for my word this year which is COMPASSION.

Compassion: a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.

I learned something tonight about compassion. Every definition I found of this word (I read 6 of them tonight, please share with me if you find one elsewhere that doesn’t contain this!) related to the feeling you have for someone who is suffering. Now, when I originally chose this word, I wasn’t thinking only of those around me who are suffering. I felt the Lord was telling me that there were those in my life who I was not compassionate towards…but it didn’t necessarily mean they were suffering? So, was I defining this word incorrectly in my own mind?

Regardless, I’m going to stick with my word. One thing that really, really drew me to this word was the consistent mention of Jesus’ compassion on those He encountered in scriptures. Over and over again I would read that “and Jesus had compassion on them.”

It didn’t matter who they were. It didn’t matter where they had been. It didn’t matter what they had done. He had compassion. That is what I want. That compassion for others that isn’t blinded by anything they have said or done. Compassion from a heart that is so full of God that I don’t focus on the sin, weaknesses or faults of others.

In order to pray and meditate on what God’s word says to me about compassion, I am going to choose to memorize verses this year that are about compassion. The first verse I’m going to memorize is a continuation of a passage that I already started memorizing with our small group a few months ago. Here is the passage, I’ll be taking it one verse at a time, and praying that as I hide God’s word in my heart He would change me, mold me and give me a heart of compassion, grace, kindness and love.

“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 whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Colossians 3:12-17

0 thoughts on “Compassion: a definition”

  1. I have picked KINDNESS as my word, and discovered lo and behold that kindness is in the verse you are memorizing. So that’s going to be my first memorization for January, Col. 3:12-14. I would describe myself more of a habitual lurker on your blog, but do want to thank you for all the inspiration you give me. So many times your blog has been a starting block for me.

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