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Imagine you’re going about your usual daily activities and come across an abandoned baby. Or a bleeding and battered stranger. What’s your first reaction? Horror? Anger? Disgust? Or something more that moves you to act?

This week’s character trait of compassion is investing whatever is necessary to heal the hurts of others.

An Egyptian princess had compassion … and took that abandoned baby home and raised him as her own. (See Exodus 1:8-2:10) A Samaritan racial-minority) traveler had compassion … and bandaged the man’s wounds, took him to an inn, and paid for his care. (See Luke 10:25-37)

Jesus told a story about a King rewarding his servants with these words. “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40 NIV)

What does compassion look like today? It’s a listening ear when a friend needs to vent. It’s inviting the outcast to join your circle. It’s a financial gift after a local crisis (wildfires, hurricanes, movie theater shootings). It’s volunteering to cook and serve a meal to the homeless. It’s picking up a hammer to fix a leaking roof or a wrench to repair a single mother’s car. It’s filling a shoebox with toys and toiletries to bless a child overseas. It’s inviting a lonely single home for dinner. It’s donating blankets and coats to a local shelter. It’s opening your heart and home to foster children.

Compassion is stepping outside my comfort zone to feel the hurts of others … and then doing whatever it takes to help them.

What about you? Do you find compassion easy or difficult? Why? Have you ever been on the receiving end of a compassionate act?

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