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Compassion is the Motive of a Leader’s Heart

By Doug Franklin February 4, 2014

As Christians we experience God’s compassion moment by moment.  Jesus Christ made us, saved us, forgave us, and forbade us from withholding compassion toward others.  He commands us to forgive others as we ourselves have been forgiven.  Sometimes this is easier said than done!

The dictionary defines compassion as a “deep awareness of the suffering of another coupled with the wish to relieve it.”  Others define compassion as “a desire to free others from their suffering.”ID-100181461

We understand compassion better when we model our lives after the example of the Son of God.  Throughout the Gospels we catch glimpses of Jesus’ heart of compassion:

  • “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (Matthew 9:36).
  • “When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick” (Matthew 14:14).
  • “Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. ‘I am willing,’ he said. ‘Be clean!’” (Mark 1:41).
  • “I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat” (Mark 8:2).

The life of Jesus teaches us that compassion is the motive of a leader’s heart.  He served out of the deep compassion he felt for others.  He saw their desperate needs and determined to help meet those needs.

Jesus also shows us that compassion is the perspective of a leader’s eyes.  When he looked at a broken world, his compassion kicked in.  He looked into people’s eyes and saw their broken hearts and lives, and His heart was broken for them.

Through Jesus, we discover that compassion is the magnet of a leader’s heart.  Every moment of His waking life, Jesus’ heartbeat was to see wrongs righted, hurts healed, suffering alleviated, and sinners saved.

Finally, Jesus teaches us that compassion is the action of a leader’s hands and feet.  Jesus didn’t just feel sad about heartache; he did something about it!  He took action and became personally involved in the lives of others.

Compassion was the basis of Jesus’ mission statement – His reason for being on earth. “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost” (Luke 19:10 ).  Remarkably, these words flowed from the lips of a holy God who demands justice, yet took our punishment upon Himself out of His deep compassion.

About the Author

Doug Franklin

Doug Franklin is the president of LeaderTreks, an innovative leadership development organization focusing on students and youth workers. Doug and his wife, Angie, live in West Chicago, Illinois. They don’t have any kids, but they have 2 dogs that think they are children. Diesel and Penelope are Weimaraners  who never leave their side. Doug grew up in…  Read More