By: Justin Dillenschneider, Director of Student Life
Week of August 30, 2021
Compassion can be defined as sympathetic awareness of the distress of others coupled with a desire to alleviate the pain or discomfort being caused. As followers of Christ, compassion is a central part of living out our faith. As I am writing this, Hurricane Ida has just made landfall in Southern Louisiana and heavy rainfall, devastating winds, and life-threatening storm surge bring back memories from the devastation that Hurricane Sally brought to our own area. In the aftermath of Sally, I saw some of the greatest acts of compassion and self sacrifice as neighbors came to remove debris, cut up fallen trees, and clean homes that had been badly damaged. Many brought hot meals and shared generators with those who were without power for weeks. In all of these things, God was glorified by the compassion shown by His people.
The following is an excerpt from Dr. Dernlan’s book Classical Christian Virtues: Contemplating the Good Life
“Compassion can be a virtue in its best and most pure form but it can quickly become a vice in its extreme form (permissiveness) or when it is lacking (cruelty).”
Continue contemplating compassion by looking at this week’s scripture reading from Luke 10:30-35:
Luke 10:30–35 (ESV): “30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’”
We want to encourage you to have a conversation this weekend about the virtue of compassion. Consider these discussion prompts together:
- When have you experienced or witnessed compassion from someone in your life
- What are some ways you see Christ modeling compassion in Scripture?
- As Hurricane Ida continues to pass through the Southeastern US, what are some ways that we can show compassion for our neighbors?