When I look at the word compassion, what does that really mean?Having compassion means to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, showing empathy, love, respect, kindness, not being judgmental, being patient with yourself and being patient with others. When you look at Jesus life, He showed compassion towards all who struggle with issues. He extends this same compassion to us even today, so who are we not to show compassion to others? There are two stories in the bible that I want us to focus on. One is called the prodigals’son and the second one is called the adulterous woman. The prodigal son is found in Luke 15:11-24 NLT and it says, “A man had two sons, the younger son told his father “I want a share in your estate now before you die” so his father agreed to divide his wealth between the sons. A few days later, the son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land and there he wasted all his money on wild living. About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept the land and he began to starve. He persuaded a local farmer to hire him and the man sent him into the field to feed the pigs. The young man became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him but no one gave him anything.Finally, he came to his senses he said to himself, at home even the hired servant has enough food to spare and here I am dying of hunger. I will go home to my father and say “father I have sinned against you both heaven and you and I’m no longer worthy of being called your son please take me on as a hired servant”. So, he returned home to his father and why he was still a long way off his father saw him coming, filled with love and compassion he ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him. His son said to his father, “I have sinned against both heaven and you and I am no longer worthy of being called your son”. But his father said to the servant, “quick, bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him, get a ring for his forth finger and sandals for his feet. Kill the cow we have been fatting we must celebrate a feast. for this son of mine was dead and now he has returned to life, he was lost but now he is found”. so the party began”.
We are going to look at this from two angles. When you look at the prodigal son he knew he had an inheritance, the father was preparing something for him. When you look at the prodigal son, he wanted to do things his way, he wanted to rush the process and sometimes when we are trying walk in our purpose and we’re trying to rediscover our passion we are trying to reach our destiny really quick but we must be careful that when we’re moving forward in our purpose in our passion if we are trying to reach our destiny that we don’t do it without God.
Sometimes we get ourselves in situations where we get the big head and kind of loose our way. Sometimes we might have things happen to us to cause us to think the things we have done in our past have been so bad that we missed God and we cannot go back to the place that he restored us before. The prodigal son had experienced this phenomenon. He went out, he wanted his inheritance, he wanted it now, he rushed the process, he failed, and he lost his way. If we are honest some of us have experienced this very scenario. The prodigal son spent all his money on wild living. He reached a point of hitting rock bottom and when he reached the point of rock bottom he was so sorrowful of himself that the pig slop looked good to him. Sometimes I know I can concur in my life I have been in situations or circumstances where I have hit the bottom and I am sorrowfulasking God, how did I get here? But the bible said he came to his senses, that’s was the blessing that he needed to bring about repentance and change. We must not live in regret from the things that has happened in our life because just like the prodigal son it can cause us to come to our senses and bring about repentance and change. I feel sorry for the ones who don’t come to their senses;they continue to follow the road of no return and head for destruction.
Another thing about the prodigal son we need to pay attention to is that he didn’t feel worthy to come back home his father. He spokethis to his father, “disown me as your son, I know I have done this terrible thing, I have sinned against you, I have sinned against GOD, hire me on as your servant. I will be a servant, I don’t want anything else”. This is what the enemy wants us to feel like when we get off the path that God has for us, he wants us to feel ashamed and condemned. We have to understand that God is a forgiving God and regardless of the things we have done that we’re not proud of, we have a loving father with his arms open out wide ready to embrace us.
I love the Lord and I thank him for his compassion and His lovetowards us. We too need to have to have compassion upon ourselves. We cannot live in regret for the things that we have done in our lives. Just as God has forgiven us, we have to forgive ourselves because God loves us so much he does not want us to stay in regret. He doesn’t want us remain in shame and doubt because if we do we will not be able to move forward in the plan that God has for our lives. This story also shows us that we need to have compassion for others. The prodigal son father did not remind him of his wrong doing and say “you shouldn’t have did this, oh look at you, you’ve reached rock bottom now and you want to come all the back?” He didn’t say all of that, he saw him from a far-off distance and said this is my son he is coming home.
This is how God treats us, even when we feel that we are far off from God, God looks at us and say there’s my son, there’s my daughter and welcome us with open arms. There is a celebration that is going to take place, another son or daughter is returning back to the Lord!
Another way to look at this story shows us that we must have compassion on others Every one of us will go through our own faults, failures, issues and circumstances, so who are we to judge and not have love and forgiveness towards someone else’s issues. The prodigal son was welcomed by his father with open arms, so if you look at people who have hurt you, who have wronged you, who have done you wrong, will you walk in the same love and forgive? We ourselves have done things that we were not proud of, so who are we to sit up there and judge and mock others and make them feel worse than what they already feel. We need to embrace them, we need to love them, we need to consider that they have gone through the faults and failures of life but we must forgive them and welcome with open arms. That’s what our heavenly father does towards us so we need to show that same type of love and compassion. There is such a lack of compassion and love in this world that is unbelievable. Regardless if we don’t agree with another person views that doesn’t mean we should judge and not show love and compassion towards them. Christ showed love and compassion, that was one of the things that he showed us throughout the bible that we need to love those who have wrong us.
There is a scripture in the bible that talks about “love those who have hurt you, bless those and pray for those that persecute you”- Luke 6:28. It’s important because we cannot live with a bitter or unforgiving heart because when you let bitterness and anger dwell inyour heart you cannot move forward in the things of God and you cannot walk in the purpose of God.
The second story that shows the act of being compassionate is the story of the adulterous women found in John 8:1-11 and it says, “Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives but early the next morning he was back again at the temple, a crowd soon gathered and he sat down and taught them. As he was speaking, the teaching of the religious law and the pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery and they put her in front of the crowd. “Teacher” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery, the law of Moses says to stone her what do you say?” they were trying to trap him into saying what they will use against him but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. They kept demanding an answer so he stood up and said, “All right, butlet the one who has never sinned throw the first stone then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust. When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one beginning with the oldest until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. So,Jesus stood up said to the woman “where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” “No lord,” she said and Jesussaid, “Neither do I go and sin no more”.
If we are going to be Christlike, if we are going to walk in His characteristics then we need to have compassion towards others. This adulterous woman committed adultery so here the Pharisees and the Sadducees and the religious officers followed the Law of Moses. So it says in the law of Moses “a woman who commits this act, let them stone her” so here was Jesus in the midst of all these crowd, in the midst of all these people and they wanted to stone her. They said “Jesus what would you do? Do you dispute the law of Moses?” Jesus did not answer their question, but they kept onpressing Him, so He replied, “if you are without sin then you throw the first stone”.
Who are we to judge? We all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. There’s no sin that is greater than the next so who are we to condemn and judge someone, this is not having the attribute of Christ. If Christ showed compassion then who are we not to show compassion? This reminds me of the scripture that says,
‘Same way you judge others you’ll be judged in the same manner”
This scripture is found in Matthew 7:2. He gave us these things in the bible so we can apply it to our lives and also if you look at the life of Jesus Christ. Jesus was sitting in the midst of sinners and thesaints, Pharisees, Sadducees, and religious officers of the law they were like “why are you sitting with those sinners? Why are you over there? You should be with us”. He said “I did not come for the well, I came for the sick” –Mark 2:17. We’re supposed to show compassion to others regardless of their issues and their circumstances. So, if we’re going to be a reflection of Jesus Christ, if we are going to operate in our fullness of him we have to have to have the compassion of Christ. If he judged us on everything that we have done guess what, I would be a goner, but His word says “He throws our sins as far as the east and the west” that means it is goneand I must have compassion towards myself for the things I am not proud of and I must have compassion on others. We do this byforgiving ourselves of our mistakes and failures, moving forwardand having compassion on others. Not being judgmental, not holding forgiveness or grudges in our heart but devoting ourselves to prayer and loving others despite their faults and failures while allowing God to work in the areas that need fixing in their life.
In these times we have to combat all this hate with love, respect, kindness. We must not condemn ourselves and condemn others but show compassion as the Word command us to do. If we’re going to walk in the attribute of Jesus Christ then we must show love and compassion in a world where there’s so much hatred. To be the light that Jesus talks about being a light in the midst of darkness and take a stand so others will follow.