September 4, 2016
How to Neighbor: Compassion
The Parable of the Good Samaritan is our primary example of how to demonstrate compassion to our neighbors. This famous story, found in Luke 10:25-37, was Pastor Yogi’s text for the third message in our series, How to Neighbor. Jesus’ parable demonstrates the power of being a neighbor to those in need.
Compassion comes out of a deep-seated feeling for another person, not a feel good moment for myself. Serving others in order to feel better about yourself is self-serving, not compassionate. According to Jesus, being a neighbor meant looking out for others in difficult situations because they have real need, not because you are having problems with your conscience. This requires both sympathy and empathy. Sympathy is when you feel bad for someone, and empathy is when you feel what they feel.
There are four steps to exercising compassion. 1) Take time to get to know others. You can only sympathize and empathize with the people you know personally. 2) Learn their story. Get to know their life and experiences, how they got to where they are today. 3) Consider how it would feel to be in their place. This is the beginning of empathy. 4) Pray about what action to take and then take it.