Compassion- More Than a Word

Holding hands

This is a special guest post from my best buddy (who happens to be my girlfriend too). Sharayaha is a nursing student, and God has shown her many things about compassion. We hope that this article will help you to understand more about compassion, and our call to be compassionate…

What is Compassion? 

Compassionate is a word that describes someone that loves and shows mercy to those around us.  They hurt when others hurt, they forgive quickly, and they love.

The best example of compassion is the love that comes from God the Father and Jesus Christ.  God has compassion for us, always.  He sent is only Son to die for our sins so we can live an eternal life, instead of dying in our transgressions.  That is the greatest act of compassion that has ever been performed, and it continues to bless Christ followers through eternity.  


What Does the Bible Say About Compassion?

Psalm 103 (ESV)

Of David.

Bless the LORD, O my soul,

and all that is within me,

bless his holy name!

Bless the LORD, O my soul,

and forget not all his benefits,

who forgives all your iniquity,

who heals all your diseases,

who redeems your life from the pit,

who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,

who satisfies you with good

so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

The LORD works righteousness

and justice for all who are oppressed.

He made known his ways to Moses,

his acts to the people of Israel.

The LORD is merciful and gracious,

slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

He will not always chide,

nor will he keep his anger forever.

He does not deal with us according to our sins,

nor repay us according to our iniquities.

For as high as the heavens are above the earth,

so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;

as far as the east is from the west,

so far does he remove our transgressions from us.

As a father shows compassion to his children,

so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.

For he knows our frame;

he remembers that we are dust.

As for man, his days are like grass;

he flourishes like a flower of the field;

for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,

and its place knows it no more.

But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,

and his righteousness to children’s children,

to those who keep his covenant

and remember to do his commandments.

The LORD has established his throne in the heavens,

and his kingdom rules over all.

Bless the LORD, O you his angels,

you mighty ones who do his word,

obeying the voice of his word!

Bless the LORD, all his hosts,

his ministers, who do his will!

Bless the LORD, all his works,

in all places of his dominion.

Bless the LORD, O my soul!


Jonah 3:3-10 (NIV)

Jonah obeyed the word of the LORD and went to Nineveh. Now Nineveh was a very large city; it took three days to go through it.

Jonah began by going a day’s journey into the city, proclaiming, “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown.”

The Ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth.

When Jonah’s warning reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust.

This is the proclamation he issued in Nineveh: “By the decree of the king and his nobles: Do not let people or animals, herds or flocks, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink.

But let people and animals be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence.

Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.”

When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened.

Matthew 9:35-36 (NIV)

Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.

When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.



Our Call to be Compassionate


As a nursing student, it is a safe bet to assume I hear the word compassion on a daily basis.  The concept of compassion is an integral part of the nursing profession.  This sounds all fluffy and nice.  Everyone be loving and compassionate towards everyone, butterflies and rainbows.  The fact is this is not what our sinful nature wants to do. We want to be selfish, look out for ourselves, and maybe do good acts to look good.

Through Christ our whole attitude and outlook can change.  Thankfully, Jesus Christ can shine through us when we live for Him.  He can show compassion and love to others around us through our actions. How powerful is that!?

1 John 3:11-24 (NIV)

For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another.

Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous.

Do not be surprised, my brothers and sisters, if the world hates you.

We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death.

Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him.

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.

If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be that person?

Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence:

If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.

Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God

and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him.

And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.

The one who keeps God’s commands lives in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.

I have seen the tears in the eyes of patients, when compassion is shown.  When you help someone with something they have never needed help with before, you experience the feelings that come with their loss of function, together. You feel how much they appreciate the compassionate attitude, being there with them in their time of need.  The simple gesture of holding someone’s hand when they are confused and overwhelmed can make a world of a difference.  The smile you choose to give. The little things. The moment you think about others instead of yourself.  With Christ, we can make change in lives. We are called to do this, and it is a beautiful thing.  Let’s do it!

Matthew 5:16 (ESV)

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Do you need compassion? Cry out to Jesus!


We are blessed to be able to have opportunities to help others.  I pray that as Christians we would all step up, and continue to have Christ bless others through us.  Sometimes we may not know what to say, how to act, what to do.  Sometimes the simple act of presence with people that need you, can be very powerful. I leave you with this verse.



1 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NIV)

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God




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Photo Source:

Holding Hands, lantern


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