Love is an action – a choice not based on feelings. Love is:
4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant,
5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,
6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;
7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never fails . . . (1 Corinthians 13 NASB)
Throughout the Old Testament, we are told that God is compassionate. God over and over again had compassion on His people. Whenever God had compassion on His people, the compassion was ensued by an act of love.
“But You are a God of forgiveness, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in loving kindness; and You did not forsake them.” (Nehemiah 9:17 NASB)
Jesus is compassionate. All through the New Testament, we are told that Jesus saw people and had compassion on them. Jesus’ compassion was always followed with an act of love.
“When He went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and felt compassion for them and healed their sick.” (Matthew 14:14 NASB)
NOTE: Jesus saw and felt compassion + He acted by healing their sick = RESULTS
“And Jesus called His disciples to Him, and said, “I feel compassion for the people because they have remained with Me now three days and have nothing to eat; and I do not want to send them away hungry, for they might faint on the way.” (Matthew 15:32 NASB)
NOTE: Jesus saw and felt compassion + He acted by feeding them = RESULTS
“Moved with compassion, Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.” (Mark 1:41 NASB)
NOTE: Jesus saw and felt compassion + He acted by healing him= RESULTS
“When Jesus went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and He felt compassion for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and He began to teach them many things.” (Mark 6:34 NASB)
NOTE: Jesus saw and felt compassion + He acted by teaching them (being their Shepherd) = RESULTS
What is the purpose of compassion in a Christian’s life? What if I don’t feel compassion very often? What if I feel compassion all the time?
All of us are created differently. Some Christians “feel” compassion all the time … they are very observant of other’s pain and hurt. They “feel” and hurt for others just by observing people walking down the street. But — do they act on this compassion? Do they love? Are there results?
Some Christians only “feel” compassion when they are involved in the life of a person – when the person shares their heart and struggles; then, compassion arises in the heart of the person listening. But – do they act on this compassion? Do they love? Are there results?
No matter how little or how great of compassion you have, without love it is nothing. Compassion must walk hand in hand with love in order for an action to be taken that will result in the compassionate love of God being shown that has results. Anything we do without love is nothing.
A person can actually “not feel” compassion and see a situation and reach out in love (an action) and show the compassionate love of God to a person with results.
Compassion is an emotion that propels a person to act or to love. If all you do is “feel” compassion and do not act on it, it is of no value. It has no results. It is like faith without works – it is dead.
Colossians tells us to put on a heart of compassion …
“So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.” (Colossians 3:12-13 NASB)
The next time you “feel” compassion – ask God what you can do in response to that feeling. What act of love walks hand in hand with your feelings of compassion that will have results for God’s glory?
The next time you don’t have compassion but see a person who is broken and needs help, put on a heart of compassion; then ask God what you can do – what action of love walks hand in hand with the compassion you put on that will have results for God’s glory?
COMPASSION + LOVE = ACTS OF THE COMPASSIONATE LOVE OF GOD WITH RESULTS