Are your hearts tender and compassionate? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose. Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Philippians 2:1-5 (NLT)
If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded. Philippians 2:1-2 (KJV)
Are our hearts “tender and compassionate?” As we see in the King James Version, it is also rendered, “…if any bowels and mercies…” The Greek word for showing compassion is splagchnizomai which means ‘to feel compassion’. The inward organs were considered the seat of emotion and intention and so it described the compassion which moves a man to the deepest depths of his being.
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32 (NKJV)
Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 1 Peter 3:8 (ESVUK)
Jesus is our example in compassion:
When He saw the crowds, He had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Matthew 9:36 (ESVUK)
And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick. Matthew 14:14 (KJV)
Are we “moved with compassion?” The phrase means ‘stirred to action’. Jesus didn’t just sit back and notice the needs of the people. He was moved and stirred in His heart. He felt their pain. There was more than an awareness of their situation; there was action.
Beloved children, our love can’t be an abstract theory we only talk about, but a way of life demonstrated through our loving deeds. 1 John 3:18 (TPT)
Compassion is actually something we are to put on and wear:
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Colossians 3:12 (NIVUK)
As we go about today, let’s make sure that our hearts are tender and compassionate.