Whereas empathy is identifying with someone else’s story, compassion motivates a person to enter the story and to do something about it. Compassion leads to action. Compassion, in its fullest expression, changes lives.
FULLNESS: FULLNESS AND COMPASSION
Message by Bill Johnston – August 19, 2018
TWO REALITIES ABOUT COMPASSION
1. COMPASSION BEGINS WITH A TENDER HEART FOR THE BROKEN-HEARTED
Ephesians 4:32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
Psalm 34:18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.
Colossians 3:12 (NIV) Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
2. HURTING PEOPLE ARE LONGING FOR A COMPASSIONATE RESPONSE
Psalm 51:1 Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins.
PAUSE: Since compassion requires a tender heart, how would you rate your heart on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being hard and 10 being soft?
FOUR DISTINCTIVES OF COMPASSION
1. COMPASSION MOTIVATES YOU TO SEE
Mark 1:40 A man with leprosy came and knelt in front of Jesus, begging to be healed. “If you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean,” he said.
PAUSE: Am I paying attention enough to see the needs of those around me who are struggling?
2. COMPASSION MOVES YOU TO ACT
Mark 1:41a Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out and touched him …
PAUSE: When you see someone in need, what is your typical, immediate response: to move toward them, or to move away?
3. COMPASSION WILL MOVE YOU BEYOND THE BOUNDS OF PROPRIETY
Mark 1:41b “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!”
PAUSE: Am I more concerned about the one who is down and out, or about what people will think of me if I reach out to them?
4. COMPASSION CAN BE LIFE-CHANGING
Mark 1:42 Instantly the leprosy disappeared, and the man was healed.
Both being compassionate and receiving compassion can have a significant impact on your life. Of the two realities and the four characteristics of compassion listed, which one – if you gave it more attention – would make the greatest impact on your life, and potentially impact someone else’s?
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