No matter whether we are happy or not in our lives, developing compassion for other humans is fundamental to Christ-like living. By being compassionate, we not only emulate Jesus, but we also create a sense of connectedness to others and well-being within ourselves. Compassion allows us to bring happiness to others around us, which in turn creates a deep and long-lasting sense of contentment within ourselves.
The word “compassion” derives from the Latin “compati,” which means “to suffer together.” However, we do not feel like exercising compassion all the time. The only way to integrate it into our lives is through discipline and daily practice. Here are some ways to develop compassion:
1. Make an affirmation. Every morning, start the day off with the mindset that it is important to respond to people and events with compassion.
2. Focus on likenesses, not differences. Remember that all humans have the same basic needs like food, warmth, love, and connection.
3. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Bring to mind a loved one who is in pain and place yourself in his or her position. Imagine what you would want someone to do for you if you were in that other person’s situation.
About the Author
Pastor John Wagner currently serves as the Lead Pastor for Turning Point Community Church in Lubbock, Texas.