Compassion as a Lifestyle

Compassion as a Lifestyle
September 25, 2012

What is a compassionate person? A truly compassionate person?

These questions remind me of a time I was engulfed with a desire to lose weight. I must have attempted every diet on the market but lacked the motivation and discipline to stick with it. My system consisted of a day of dieting here and there, without rhyme or reason. In frustration, I confided in a friend for support. Her frank response was my turning point, “It's a lifestyle choice,” she said.

But I was consumed with the desire to lose weight—it felt like a lifestyle! My friend explained weight loss can't be motivated by immediate results. For diets to really work my desire for weight loss needed to be rooted in my health through a balance of smart food choices and exercise—for life.

In the same way, being a compassionate person is the result of being filled with and transformed by the Holy Spirit. Like my yo-yo dieting, many of us fall into the habit of being compassionate…on occasion. After all, picking and choosing where and when we lend compassion is a lot easier than the daunting task of having unlimited availability.

So what’s the key here? God is love. The Bible says the Holy Spirit is living and active, and God’s love can transform our hearts, reviving and renewing on a daily basis. He desires for us to be stewards of the cross, gracious and bold without an on and off switch for supporting others.

1 John 4:12-13,19 says,

No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. We love, because He first loved us.

For me it's overwhelming to consider the abundant compassion God had for me by sending His One and only Son to take away my sins. This act of mercy leaves me longing to show love to all God created.

To answer the original question then, to me a truly compassionate person is led and motivated by faith and operates with a Christlike heart in all situations.

Are you a compassionate person?

By Annalisa Patenaude