But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.
The Lord is a God full of compassion. Because He is full of compassion, out of that, flows graciousness, longsuffering, mercy and truth. To have compassion means we are a compassionate person, we have feelings of compassion, empathy and a desire to help alleviate someone else’s suffering and pain. It is not so hard to feel compassion for someone who has fallen into misfortune due to no fault of their own. It is an entirely different matter if their misfortune is because of their own ignorance and mistakes.
However, the Lord still felt compassion for me when I was lost in sin and my own choices were leading me down the wrong path in life. Somehow He still loved me and made a way out of my problems for me in spite of my issues.
The word compassion is built on the root word, compass. If I have compassion then I am able to walk completely around a person’s situation and understand that, even though they have a problem, yet they are a human being, one of God’s creation and He loves them as much as He loves me.
The test is simple. When I see another human being suffering, what is my inward feelings? Do I feel for them or is my attitude one of, it’s their problem, they created it and they are getting what they deserve.
Because the Lord was full of compassion, the graciousness, longsuffering, mercy and truth flowed out of that. If I am unable to be gracious, longsuffering and merciful to someone it’s because I’m lacking in compassion and not because the suffering individual has a problem. Yes they may be in a bad situation because of their choices, but I can still be a person full of compassion, graciousness and longsuffering.
If I want to be full of compassion and displaying graciousness and longsuffering to others, all I have to do is remember the compassion the Lord has showed to me. I am afraid that many times our attitude is that of the Pharisee who said to the Lord, thank you Lord that I am not like them. If I am not like them it is only because of the Lord’s compassion to me. This is not about who I am and what I’ve done. This is about who Jesus Christ is and what He’s done. Dear Jesus, fill me with your compassion.