Clothe yourself with Compassion

Posted: August 12, 2008 in Of Spiritual Things
Tags: , , , , , , ,

In Colossians 3:12-15 Paul calls us to clothe ourselves with several things. The next few posts will be short thoughts on these eight items of life.

When he used the word clothe he was talking about something that we intentionally and actively do. Clothe is an action word. Clothe – doesn’t happen by itself – it takes action on our part to get dressed.

The first virtue Paul penned calling us to clothe ourselves is with Compassion.

Compassion There are two great ways to look at this word. It is an easy word to throw around but seldom is it an easy word to put action to.

First the root word in compassion is Passion – “To Suffer,”  (used in many different ways). And “Com” or to come together. Compassion then can be translated to have a meaning of coming together to help alleviate the suffering of another individual. Compassion is strongly tied to action.

Second I think that the word could have a different root word and a slightly different meaning.  What if  compassion comes from the root word Compass, a device that finds direction using a magnetic needle that always points true North. This device has a “consciousness” for North. It can also be used as a verb  that means to “step out” or to “pace out,” as in measuring. Add the “ion” – which is a suffix that forms a noun of action out of a verb.  Compassion then is a sympathetic consciousness of other’s distress with a desire to relieve that distress.

The Greek speak about compassion as being a feeling that wells up from the bowels, literally the guts, liver, stomach. The inner being of a human. A compassionate person is one who can discover “pace out” the direction and location of another’s distress and seeks to help.

Shoes are what you put on when you need to go somewhere. Maybe we need to put on the shoes of compassion and discover other’s distress and then take action to alleviate that distress. Have you put on the shoes of compassion today?

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Comments
  1. sandrar says:

    Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

  2. Antoine Jesse Heath says:

    Keith,
    I enjoyed this en”compass”ing Truth (written in Love). I work at The Carlyle Care Center, a Boarding Home that houses 136 mentally unstable Spokane, WA citizens. I serve dually as a Certified Nursing Assistant “medication technician” and a maintenance assistant in our Environmental services. We are up for being purchased by St. Johns Episcopal Cathedral from the City of Spokane. Pray for us and the field of our work, please, for “The harvest is ready… but the laborers are few.”

    La Shanna Tova! Happy Rosh Hashanna!

    ~ AJH

  3. Antoine Jesse Heath says:

    Keith,
    I have been studying the first chapter of Colossians lately. I have also been reading Romans chapter 12-14, Tephillum (Psalms) 119 (Aleph, Beth, Gimel…) and D’Varim chapters 19-22 (Deuteronomy). I try to make a God-focused daily thought entry at the top of my daily FB posts… like Daniel (who opened his window 3 x’s daily) and David did (“early morning will I rise up and seek Thee”) of ancient Bible times… most importantly, like Yeshua (Jesus). WWYD ?

    ~ AJH

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