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  1. Com

  2. According to Thich-Nhat-Hanh, to whom the internet attributes this common quote, “Compassion is a verb.” I’d love to agree, but then we’d both be wrong, because Mr. Webster still says it’s a noun. Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary; p.227 Com

  3. What then, is real “compassion”? Technically, compassion is the “sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it.” However, compassionis not just an emotion evoked by someone’s distress (and thus, a noun, which was the monk’s point- that’s just sympathy), or even emotion plus a desire to alleviate their distress. Instead, By its very nature, compassion must be expressed through alleviating action(as a transitive verb)in order to be genuine. Com

  4. What does real “compassion” require? • The right Heart (emotion). One’s heart must have proper feelings, Phil.2:1. • The proper Awareness(perspective). One cannot be self-absorbed and self-centered and compassionate, Phil.2:2-3. • The correct Willingness (activity). Then, one must do the right things, Phil.2:4. Com

  5. How, then, is real “compassion” manifested? As always, let’s look to the example of Jesus: • To socially out-cast and rejected sinners, Jesus was a compassionate associate and physician, Matt.9:10-13. To start with, true compassion requires the awareness, heart, and willingness to merely associate with the lowlyand those deemed less honorable, Rom.12:16; 1Cor.12:18-26. Com

  6. How, then, is real “compassion” manifested? As always, let’s look to the example of Jesus: • It is not precluded by personal pain/loss, Because compassion is not self-absorbed.It still has the awareness, heart, and willingness to help others even when personally hurting, Matt.14:1-13,14. We’ve all known someone who, even when experiencing some personal pain/tragedy, was still concerned with and caring for others. Let’s not just respect that person- let’s be that person because they’re following the example of Jesus! Com

  7. How, then, is real “compassion” manifested? As always, let’s look to the example of Jesus: • To the powerless, Like a widow burying her only son, Luke 7:11-17. In patriarchal societies, widows were especially vulnerable, cf. Acts 6:1ffand 1Tim.5:3ff. Jesus wasn’t justmoved by a mother’s loss, but that this son’s death would have left her alone in the world, Jas.1:27; cf. John 19:26-27. Com

  8. How, then, is real “compassion” manifested? As always, let’s look to the example of Jesus: • To the truly penitent, Regardless of the “enormity” of their sin(s), Luke 15:1-10, 11-15ff. This “father” saw the son returning “while he was still a long way off”- how does this happen? He was looking for, and probably had been long praying for, his return because, more than anything else, he longedfor it. Compassion therefore greeted his return with much rejoicing, cf. vv.7,10. Com

  9. How, then, is real “compassion” manifested? Jesus teaches us that it should be: • To the lowly and those deemed less honorable, • Given even in times of personal loss/ tragedy, • To the powerless, and • To the truly penitent. But the one other important, and often often overlooked, manifestation of compassion…. Com

  10. How, then, is real “compassion” manifested? Is to those: • Straying like sheep without a shepherd. In other words, those who wander through life lost for lack of divine guidance. On these Jesus feltcompassion, Mark 6:34a; Andtaught, Mark 6:34b. And so must we to be compassionate like the Christ! Such requires the right heart (emotion),awareness (perspective), andwillingness (activity). Are you compassionate? Com