What is Compassion?

Is it lending a helping hand?

Is it giving to the poor?

Is it love?

Here is an analogy to help us understand compassion. Let's say you go to the doctor for a basic check up and tests. The doctor comes and tells you that you have a form of life threatening cancer. Your world has just been rocked and your day has been ruined. The doctor knows this news will probably ruin your day, but tells you anyway. He tells you because he knows there is a cure for this cancer, but he has to tell you the truth, in order for you to want the cure.

This doctor is showing compassion because by explaining the truth to you, he is showing he is concerned for your long term well being not just your short term happiness.

Compassion is more than pity, it suggests actual help. Compassion is not just concerned with meeting short term needs, but rather cares about long term well being. And this is God's definition of compassion.

The Bible says when Jesus saw a great crowd He had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. He showed compassion by teaching them many things or telling them the truth.

The truth can be uncomfortable, convicting, and challenging. But it's the truth and with truth there is hope.

The truth for us, is we too have a problem. That problem is sin. For no one is righteous and all have sinned against God. The reason sin is a problem is because our Creator God is a good and just God and therefore any rebellion or sin against Him must be punished. But thankfully there is a cure for our problem, and that cure is God's grace.

So, our next question becomes: what is grace?