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Compassion is a powerful gift we can give others when they're going through the unimaginable. Pain and uncertainty don't discriminate.
It doesn't matter your ethnicity or a lot in life. Hard times of suffering and difficulty show up at your life’s door.
However, the sunshine that breaks through the clouds of someone's sadness and despair is often associated with a show of compassion from another.
As believers in the Bible, we are most like its Heavenly-inspired orchestrator when we choose to walk in compassion for others.
Let's take a deeper dive into the meaning of compassion and different ways to show it. Then, we'll see what Bible scriptures say to inspire us to be more compassionate towards others.
What is Compassion?
There is no single definition that can ultimately define compassion to the fullest. Generally, it is a caring response to someone who is suffering.
When we have compassion for someone, we show concern and sympathy for their misfortunes and pity for their pain. It’s not only being conscious of another's distress but combining that knowledge with a strong desire to relieve the situation in whatever way possible.
A great example of compassion happened this past week. My friend Amanda's dog died. He had been with her family for 13 years.
She was heartbroken and posted a few pictures to Instagram, showing her favorite moments with her dog and a short story about what he meant to her and the entire family.
Amanda received dozens of messages on her post as a show of compassion. Then, in the following days, she shared photos of flowers and other thoughtful gifts that others had sent to show their sympathy and concern for her family in their sorrow.
The hardest thing about going through hardships in life is feeling like you are navigating it alone without a sense of community.
Compassion eases that pain and feeling of being stranded by yourself on an island where no one understands and relief isn't coming.
When showing compassion, you may be like the 911 operator who gathers information and keeps a person calm until help arrives.
Or you may be just the person who shows up and helps to alleviate the pain of one's suffering. Either part you play in the matter eases the sufferer when you do it with compassion.
Types of Compassion
Here are a few examples of the different kinds of compassion you can show someone. It is important to note that there are various types of compassionate responses when responding to a person’s needs.
These are based on our actions, feelings, concerns, and intentions.
When responding out of compassion to someone’s suffering, we react in one of two ways. To bring immediate response or to help them avoid suffering in the future.
Here is a breakdown of the two.
For example: You show empathy by actively listening to a friend in need.
For example: Someone busted a window out of your friend's home. So, you help them board up the window, install a camera, and add a motion sensor light as a deterrent.
Another form of compassion worth noting is compassion for someone who has wronged us. Though that person may deserve the harshness of our words and actions, we can show mercy and compassion to them instead.
May you be encouraged to show compassion to others in their time of suffering, just as the Lord has shown kindness to you.
Through verses of scripture, we can find great examples of compassion and mercy to help us become more sensitive when responding to others in need, no matter what part we play.
Here are some bible verses about compassion that will inspire you and deepen your faith in God as you serve others in need.
35 Inspiring Bible Verses About Showing Compassion
1. Psalms 111:4
“He has made His wonderful acts to be remembered; the Lord is gracious and merciful and full of loving compassion.”
2. Psalms 116:5
“Gracious is the Lord, and [consistently] righteous; yes, our God is compassionate.”
3. Psalms 103:8
“The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in compassion and lovingkindness.”
4. Psalms 145:9
“The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works [the entirety of things created].”
5. Colossians 3:12-13
“So, as God’s own chosen people, who are holy [set apart, sanctified for His purpose] and well-beloved [by God Himself], put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience [which has the power to endure whatever injustice or unpleasantness comes, with good temper]; bearing graciously with one another…”
So, as God’s own chosen people, who are holy [set apart, sanctified for His purpose] and well-beloved [by God Himself], put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience [which has the power to endure whatever injustice or unpleasantness comes, with good temper]; bearing graciously with one another…” – Colossians 3:12-13
6. Matthew 9:36
“When He saw the crowds, He was moved with compassion and pity for them because they were dispirited and distressed, like sheep without a shepherd.”
7. Matthew 20:34
“Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes; and immediately they regained their sight and followed Him [as His disciples].”
8. James 5:11
“You know we call those blessed [happy, spiritually prosperous, favored by God] who were steadfast and endured [difficult circumstances]. You have heard of the patient endurance of Job, and you have seen the Lord’s outcome [how He richly blessed Job]. The Lord is full of compassion and is merciful.”
9. 2nd Corinthians 1:3-4
“Blessed [gratefully praised and adored] be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort. Who comforts and encourages us in every trouble so that we will be able to comfort and encourage those who are in any kind of trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
10. Matthew 14:14
“When He went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and felt [profound] compassion for them and healed their sick.”
11. 1st Peter 3:8
“Finally, all of you be like-minded [united in spirit], sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted [courteous and compassionate toward each other as members of one household], and humble in spirit.”
12. Philippians 2:1-2
“Therefore if there is any encouragement and comfort in Christ [as there certainly is in abundance], if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship [that we share] in the Spirit, if [there is] any [great depth of] affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, having the same love [toward one another], knit together in spirit, intent on one purpose [and living a life that reflects your faith and spreads the gospel—the good news regarding salvation through faith in Christ].”
13. Luke 15:20
“So, he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with compassion for him and ran and embraced him and kissed him.”
14. Ephesians 4:32
“Be kind and helpful to one another, tender-hearted [compassionate, understanding], forgiving one another [readily and freely], just as God in Christ also forgave you.”
15. Isaiah 63:7
“I will tell of the lovingkindness of the Lord, and the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, according to all that the Lord has done for us, and His great goodness toward the house of Israel, which He has shown them according to His compassion and according to the abundance of His lovingkindness.”
I will tell of the lovingkindness of the Lord, and the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, according to all that the Lord has done for us, and His great goodness toward the house of Israel, which He has shown them according to His compassion and according to the abundance of His lovingkindness.” – Isaiah 63:7
16. Lamentations 3:21-22
“But this I call to mind, therefore I have hope. It is because of the Lord’s lovingkindness that we are not consumed. Because His [tender] compassions never fail.”
17. Jeremiah 42:11-12
“Do not be afraid of the king of Babylon, whom you now fear [as if he were deity]; do not be afraid of him,’ says the Lord, ‘for [he is a mere man, but I am the living, omniscient God and] I am with you [always] to protect you and to deliver you from his hand. And I will show you compassion so that he will have compassion on you and restore you to your own land.”
18. Lamentation 3:31-33
“For the Lord will not reject forever, for if He causes (allows) grief, then He will have compassion according to His abundant lovingkindness and tender mercy. For He does not afflict willingly from His heart or grieve the children of men.”
19. Luke 7:12-15
“Now, as He approached the city gate, a dead man was being carried out—the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the city was with her [in the funeral procession]. When the Lord saw her, He felt [great] compassion for her, and said to her, “Do not weep.” And He came up and touched the bier [on which the body rested], and the pallbearers stood still. And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise [from death]!” The man who was dead sat up and began to speak. And Jesus gave him back to his mother.”
20. Psalms 51:1
“Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; according to the greatness of Your compassion, blot out my transgressions.”
21. John 13:34-35
“I am giving you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you too are to love one another. By this, everyone will know that you are My disciples if you have love and unselfish concern for one another.”
22. Romans 5:6-8
“While we were still helpless [powerless to provide for our salvation], at the right time, Christ died [as a substitute] for the ungodly. Now it is an extraordinary thing for one to willingly give his life even for an upright man, though perhaps for a good man [one who is noble and selfless and worthy] someone might even dare to die. But God clearly shows and proves His own love for us, by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
23. Leviticus 19:18
“You shall not take revenge nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor (acquaintance, associate, companion) as yourself; I am the Lord.”
24. Proverbs 19:17
“He who is gracious and lends a hand to the poor lends to the Lord, and the Lord will repay him for his good deed.”
25. Zechariah 7:9-10
“Thus has the Lord of hosts said, ‘Dispense true justice and practice kindness and compassion, to each other; and do not oppress or exploit the widow or the fatherless, the stranger or the poor; and do not devise or even imagine evil in your hearts against one another.”
hus has the Lord of hosts said, ‘Dispense true justice and practice kindness and compassion, to each other; and do not oppress or exploit the widow or the fatherless, the stranger or the poor; and do not devise or even imagine evil in your hearts against one another.” – Zechariah 7:9-10
26. Isaiah 1:17
“Learn to do good. Seek justice, rebuke the ruthless, defend the fatherless, and plead for the [rights of the] widow [in court].”
27. 1st John 3:17-18
“But whoever has the world’s goods (adequate resources), and sees his brother in need, but has no compassion for him, how does the love of God live in him? Little children (believers, dear ones), let us not love [merely in theory] with word or with tongue [giving lip service to compassion], but in action and in truth [in practice and in sincerity, because practical acts of love are more than words].”
28. Matthew 25:35-26
“For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; I was naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me [with help and ministering care]; I was in prison, and you came to Me [ignoring personal danger].”
29. Galatians 6:2
“Carry one another's burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the requirements of the law of Christ [that is, the law of Christian love].”
30. Matthew 5:7
“Blessed [content, sheltered by God’s promises] are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.”
31. Psalms 41:1-3
“Blessed [by God’s grace and compassion] is he who considers the helpless; the Lord save him in the day of trouble. The Lord will protect him and keep him alive, and he will be called blessed in the land; you do not hand him over to the desire of his enemies. The Lord will sustain and strengthen him on his sickbed; in his illness, you will restore him to health.”
32. Proverbs 11:17
“The merciful and generous man benefits his soul [for his behavior returns to bless him], but the cruel and callous man does himself harm.”
33. Proverbs 14:21
“He who despises his neighbor sins [against God and his fellow man], but happy [blessed and favored by God] is he who is gracious and merciful to the poor.”
34. Luke 6:38
“Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over [with no space left for more]. For with the standard of measurement you use [when you do good to others], it will be measured to you in return.”
35. Galatians 6:9-10
“Let us not grow weary or become discouraged in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap, if we do not give in. So then, while we [as individual believers] have the opportunity, let us do good to all people [not only being helpful, but also doing that which promotes their spiritual well-being], and especially [be a blessing] to those of the household of faith (born-again believers).”
Final Thoughts on Bible Verses About Compassion
Seeing what these Bible verses say about compassion should inspire us to show it to others and fully become compassionate people. It should greatly tug at our hearts when others around us are suffering through seasons of sadness and grief.
May we always strive to be compassionate to individuals from all walks of life and in any circumstance… even if they have wronged us in any way.
Each of us plays an essential part in making someone's life better by showing compassion. It is not only the right thing to do as one human to another, but it is behavior greatly encouraged throughout the verses of scripture.
As we see throughout the Bible, showing compassion to others demonstrates God’s love and is backed by God’s promise that we will be better for it in the end.
When choosing to be anything in life, let’s choose love and be people who demonstrate a life of compassion. Your kindness may be just what someone needs to persevere through life's hardest trials.
And if you're looking for more inspiring bible verses, be sure to check out these blog posts:
- 21 Bible Verses About Having Self-Control in Your Life
- 25 Important Bible Verses About Practicing Humility
- 25 Bible Verses About Having Courage During Tough Times