“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
– Colossians 3:12
Something we should hold in high esteem as Christians is compassion. In fact, the Bible tells us to clothe ourselves with this powerful virtue; to wrap it around us and let it cover every part of our being. But what does it actually mean to be compassionate? While many people think it refers to a manner of immense kindness, in the truest sense, this word translates as “to suffer with.” You see, more than niceties that offer a friendly wave to a person who has fallen into a pit, compassion lays itself aside, climbs into the hole with them, and gets dirty for the sake of understanding where they are and what they are going through. This type of true empathy takes a person on its back and carries them to freedom only after letting them know that they are seen and cared for. In other words, it loves alongside and offers a way of healing, whether or not the recipient chooses to embrace it.
My friend, you have been shown compassion so you can give it to others. No matter what you’re going through, Jesus suffers alongside you, and He is never far removed from your troubles. When you feel as if no one understands the depth of your agony, the truth is that He does, and He lovingly climbs into the pit to stay with you until you are ready to escape. Even better, as you receive His Spirit’s comfort, He empowers you to share it with those around you. Nothing transforms the darkness of pain like the compassion of a friend who is willing to listen, empathize, and shoulder a burden, even before they point to the way out. As you suffer alongside the ones you care about and avoid the sting of careless “do’s,” “don’ts,” “should’s,” and “would’s,” you bring a powerful healing presence that is proven in selfless action.
Jesus, thank you for being the One who suffers alongside me. As I receive comfort from your Spirit, help me to comfort others in the same manner.
Besides God, who in your life has suffered alongside you? Who have you suffered alongside?
If you’re unable to attend your local church or need some additional weekly inspiration, be sure to tune into Hour of Power every Saturday night at 6:30 p.m. PT on TBN or watch online at hourofpower.org/episode.