I believe that much of the secret of soul-winning lies in having bowels of compassion, in having spirits that can be touched with the feeling of human infirmities.
C. H. Spurgeon
The good Samaritan, he had compassion. A very unlikely person to show compassion to a helpless Jew, but he did. Jesus used this story to demonstrate what compassion is. It doesn’t come from personal gain or selfish motives, it comes from love.
Luke 10:25-37 King James Version (KJV)
25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?
27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.
29 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?
30 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.
31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.
33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,
34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.
36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?
37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.
When I see a broken person treated with love or helped by others it reminds me of that verse in scripture where Jesus was “moved with compassion”. The verb “moved” is two-fold. He was moved in his Spirit with emotion and desire to help and those feelings became the act of moving in order to physically heal.
Mark 1:41 King James Version (KJV)
41 And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean.
Compassion defined is “sorrow for the sufferings or trouble of another or others, accompanied by an urge to help.”
Compassion flows from a heart filled with kindness. It should not be confused with pity which is sometimes a feeling of contempt because the object is looked at as ‘weak’ or ‘inferior’. Pity may in fact bring about kind actions that flow out of a superior mindset which may in fact be detected by the recipient.
Jesus is our example of compassion because He is kindness itself. He feels compassion for our wounds and sufferings and can relate better than anyone because he suffered and was wounded first.
Jesus is our example of compassion because He is kindness itself.
One of the most profound ways to demonstrate Christian love is by giving our compassion towards others through prayer and acts of genuine service. We can feel sorry for someone, but real compassion is more than a frown, a furrowed brow, or a wee tear. Our genuine compassion comes from our love of God poured out upon others through acts of love. True compassion will bring tangible results.
Years ago a man at my church plant preached on the love of Jesus and said, (paraphrased) ‘There is nothing anyone could say or do to hurt you that you haven’t already done to Jesus.’
He feels deep compassion for the broken because He KNOWS how it feels. His compassion comes from His love. Love is kind (compassionate).
One of the truest examples of showing Christ’s character towards others is by loving them through acts of kindness.
Compassion is not something we automatically feel but is a virtue gained by close communion with Jesus. When we truly love our Lord and others, compassion pours from Jesus’s heart into ours, which spills into the hearts of others. It’s a spiritual current that springs from God’s grace.
Why am I writing about compassion?
I have TBI.
And so do many others….
The number one complaint I hear from my brain injury Facebook group is the total lack of compassion they receive from friends, family, or acquaintances. It’s pretty much universal and it’s the saddest part of invisible illness or injury because when you are broken, and then judged ON TOP OF IT, it shatters you.
I’m not writing this to make anyone sad or negative, I’m writing to shine light on the grim sadness that brain injured and others who suffer from illness feel to be judged, ignored or shunned and why?
People who don’t try to take time to understand but choose to judge without first being aware of the profound difficulty of TBI are doing so out of ignorance or maybe just lack of compassion.
Whatever the reason we are treated this way, I’m almost certain it comes from lack of love because love will bring compassion and kindness. The absence of these virtues will instead bring indifference, harsh words, judgement, and ridicule.
So, I’m writing to kindly ask, please reach out. Show compassion. Send a card or email. Get to know the sick or injured in your church or neighborhood. It doesn’t have to be much.
Having a brain injury does not mean stupidity along with it, so we can understand when we are mistreated for being broken. And we feel just the same way a uninjured person feels and then some, due to bruised emotions and nerves.
The greatest kindness ever shown the world was Jesus stretching out His hands nailed on a cross for us. We can show Jesus’s love towards others through stretching out our hands towards them and pouring out Christ’s love, in whatever way we are able through kindness.