“WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES ABOUT OUR HAVING COMPASSION” Intro. 1. Compassion is a trait of our Savior and one we are expected to possess and develop in our hearts and lives, Col. 3:12-13. 2. Compassion is not overlooking/tolerating sin. It is “to have pity, a feeling of distress through the ills of others” (Vine); Compassion is the seed bed of mercy (the outward manifestation of pity, Matt. 5:7). 3. We need compassion and mercy from God and each other, 1 Pet. 3:8. 4. We need to have compassion and mercy for others. I. THE COMPASSION OF A SHEPHERD, Isa. 40:11; Ezek. 34:15-16 (Matt. 15:24). A. Compassion Gives Help to the Helpless, Lk. 15:1-7. 1. Mercy for the fallen, Lk. 6:36-38. 2. Heaven rejoices; those without compassion cannot effectively help the fallen. B. Compassion Sacrifices for the Safety of Others, Jno. 10:11-15. 1. Such commitment to save the lost that Jesus laid down His life. 2. We must have this level of commitment toward the lost and those struggling with and suffering in sin, Matt. 18:11-14. II. THE COMPASSION OF A SAVIOR, Isa. 53:4. A. Compassion is Willing to Act Out of Pity for Others, Matt. 8:2-3. 1. Jesus was moved with compassion to heal, Matt. 14:14. a. “Jesus in pity touched their eyes…” (ESV), Matt. 20:34. b. Note: Those without compassion tried to stop their cries for mercy! c. Do we silence pleas of mercy by our lack of compassion?! 2. We must be willing to be compassionate; it is a choice that does not come without a decision of the mind. 3. Keeping a compassionate, forgiving heart in the face of abuse is a tremendous test of faith and character, Lk 23:34. 4. Knowing what sin does to the soul and being compassionate when the sins of others hurt us is a mark of faith, Acts 7:59-60. B. Compassion Recognizes the Trouble that Exists, Matt. 9:36. 1. We may feel sorry for the trouble of others but lack compassion. Why? Because we lack empathy for them. a. Sympathy: “Sympathy is harmony of or agreement in feeling. The fact or power of sharing the feelings of another…inclination to support or be loyal to or to agree with an opinion; sharing the feelings of others (especially feelings of sorrow or anguish)” (kgbanswer.com) b. Empathy: “One dictionary says that empathy is the ‘identification with and understanding of another’s situation, feelings, and motives.’ It has also been described as the ability to put oneself in the other fellow’s place. ¶ Empathy requires first of all that we comprehend the circumstances of someone else and second that we share the feelings that those circumstances provoke in him. Empathy involves our feeling another person’s pain in our heart.” (answerbag.com) c. “Empathy means understanding and entering into another’s feelings while sympathy is an inclination to support or be loyal to or to agree with an opinion.” (kgbanswers.com) d. Empathy is the ability to relate to the thoughts, emotions and experiences of another. Sympathy is the ability to understand and give support to another. Rom. 12:15; 1 Cor. 12:25-26 2. Jesus understands our plight and fight, Heb. 4:15. 3. As sinners we understand the pain of sin and the trials we face – including those we face when captured by sin, 1 Pet. 3:8. a. We know the personal pain of sin and need for compassion from God and others in our lives, cf. Matt. 18:23-27. b. Compassionate heart remembers to show it, Matt. 18:33. c. We must not be too quick to condemn and too slow to have compassion, Jno. 8:7; Gal. 6:1-2. C. Compassion takes Effort, Matt. 18:11-12. 1. Christ’s compassion moved him to teach, Mk. 6:34. (effort) 2. See the effort in Jude 20-23; Jas. 5:19-20. 3. Application: The fallen Christian: a. Do not “keep company” with him/her; withdraw, 2 Ths. 3:14, 6. b. That does not/must not prevent you from admonishing the fallen, 2 Ths. 3:15. c. All contact is not prohibited – compassionate contact seeking to save is most certainly expected of us! Jas. 5:19-20 Conclusion 1. Compassion exists in the heart that has not given up! There is still hope, so compassion responds toward those hurting and in need of merciful help. 2. Compassion exists in the heart that grasps its own need for mercy, Matt. 5:7. 3. Compassion exists in the heart that also looks for mercy, Jude 21.