Compassion means ‘to enter into another’s passion’. How can you do that? You might, for example, find out why the other person is so stressed or depressed. What’s preoccupying them, why do they feel so passionately, and how can you enter into it? Or maybe a friend has been diagnosed with an illness, high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, or cancer. What should you do? Maybe your brother or cousin is planning a high-end wedding or has bought a new home in an upscale neighbourhood. Perhaps an associate just got promoted and the rest of their co-workers are envious and resentful.
Attitudes are fickle at best—and outright ugly at worst. But the person who got promoted is beaming, so enter into their passion and beam with them! Maybe someone you know just lost a loved one and you don’t know what to say. Don’t say anything; just ‘be there’! The Bible says, ‘Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.’ (Romans 12:15 NKJV) In other words, if someone is hurting, hurt with them, and if they’re happy, be happy for them. Enter into their passion—that’s how you show compassion!
In an effort to look holy, sometimes we come across as harsh and insensitive. Here’s how Paul addressed that very issue: ‘Since God chose you to be the holy people He loves… clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.’ (Colossians 3:12 NLT) Some of us have to work harder at this than others. But there’s no opt-out clause: ‘All of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another.’ That includes you!