Compassion means to not only feel what someone else is feeling, but then to make a move toward that person to help. In the life of Jesus you will often see the phrase “He was moved with compassion” and then Jesus taught or healed or acted to alleviate someone’s discomfort.
Pastors, we need to teach our congregations to be people of compassion: to feel the needs of those around them and then move to act in the love of Christ.
“The multitudes that were so dear to Christ shall not be less dear to me. If I cannot prevent their moral suicide, I shall at least baptize them with my human tears. I want no blessing that I cannot share. I seek no spirituality that I must win at the cost of forgetting that men and women are lost and without hope. If in spite of all I can do they will sin against light and bring upon themselves the displeasure of a holy God, then I must not let them go their sad way unwept. I scorn a happiness that I must purchase with ignorance. I reject a heaven that I must enter by shutting my eyes to the sufferings of my fellow men. I choose a broken heart rather than any happiness that ignores the tragedy of human life and human death. Though I, through the grace of God in Christ, no longer lie under Adam’s sin, I would still feel a bond of compassion for all of Adam’s tragic race, and I am determined that I shall go down to the grave or up into God’s heaven mourning for the lost and the perishing.” —A.W. Tozer (emphasis added)