God gave his disciples and children the command to love one another when loving one another placed a demand to have compassion on the person in need. God gave his children a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline and commanded us to love one another. Within the framework of love God gave us the ability to be concerned over the well being of others.
The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. Psalms 103:8
In contrast God Said,
I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. Exodus 33:19
The Lord is compassionate but he chooses the person he will have compassion and extends his mercy to. Having compassion depends on your spiritual insight to discern the suffering of another person. Being aware of the emotional and physical state of other people is just as important as understanding their spiritual condition. These conditions initiate the next step in a choice to do something about their condition.
It is as much a choice to relieve that personís condition as it is to ignore their condition and let them struggle in their misery. No one likes the trial that causes pain and suffering. However, some handle their trials by rising to the occasion when others have a mental breakdown. Christians who rise to the occasion have the fortitude of Jesus Christ and with his help overcome the problem appearing to be unscathed. Those without Christ do not have their minds on the problem solver and use escape methods that often take them deeper into despair. For example, drunks lose their jobs and become homeless then beg for the next drink and gamblers bankrupt themselves and steal to support their addiction.
Compassion also has the deep desire to relieve by helping the person in distress. Itís sharing a meal with a stranger even if he is your known enemy. Its praying over the problem with someone and showing the way God has helped you in the past. Its sharing what is in your hand with other people even if all you have is Jesus Christ.
One day John and Peter came to the synagogue for prayer and passed by a beggar wanting some money. John and Peter looked directly at the beggar and said.
ďSilver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.Ē Acts 3:6
John and Peter looked at the lame man and saw a need that money could not fix, John and Peter had no money but they had the power of Jesus name and they spoke in his name to relieve the condition. They exercised their compassion by calling on the name of Jesus for his mercy to heal the lame. John and Peter knew that they did not have the power to heal but they called on the one person who did.
They were sick, they were deaf and dumb, they were blind, they were hungry, they were sheep without a shepherd, they were sinners, they were harassed and helpless, but Jesus had compassion on all of them. He ministered to the poor, the down trodden, and anyone who asked for help. He even forgave those who crucified him from the cross.
God does not anyone to perish, but wants everyone to come to repentance, 2 Peter 3:9
For everyone who calls on his name and recognizes his authority to rule his or her life, he gives the gift of eternal life. However, God cannot help those who reject him and refuse to repent or deny a need for his salvation. Neither can we help those in their helpless estate if they donít want to be helped.
However, Jesus said that in this life we would always have the sick, the poor and the sinner to help. He also said, in this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world, (John 16:33). Christians have tribulations right along those in the world. God us that we would be persecuted and we would suffer many trials, but he has promised to help us go through them.
We must remember that the dynamic power of Jesus Christ dwells within our hearts right now with the authority you allow. For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form (Colossians 2:9) and Jesus Christ lives in us as long as we permit him to be our Lord.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us. Ephesians 3:20
Do we show the compassion of Jesus Christ to help with a personal concern for the well being of the poor and destitute? Are we concerned for the lost? It is a choice to do something to relieve a personís helpless condition, but is also a choice to ignore their condition and let them struggle in their misery. There were many that are still helping those who lost everything to Katrina. There are many that feed the poor, who take people to and from the doctorís office, and help people with their coats. Compassion needs the mercy of men and women dedicated to serve the needs of others.
Still the world is filled with men and women that are not concerned with how their choices affect another person. For example, the judge who neither feared God nor cared about men demonstrated an attitude of selfishness. His selfish nature did not have compassion nor did he show concern when he heard the widowís complaint a number of times. He wasnít in any big hurry to grant the widow her justice. He may not have been concerned about truth or justice or if his ruling was fair. The judge may have been more concerned about his stature in the publicís eye when he judged in favor of the widow. Did the judge have compassion or did he go through the motions for appearance sake?