The Practice of Compassion

by Jack Schull

Following Jesus as an act of resistance to our cultural push toward hurry, hustle, distraction and shallowness. Most of our greatest mistakes tend to come when we’re in a hurry. Maybe the life Jesus invites us to is to move more at the pace of grace. We are not anti-work, we are anti-hurry. As followers of Jesus, we’re called to walk in the way of love and one simply can not love in a hurry. Join us as we seek to slow down. We’ll lean into some practices and rhythms that help us live unhurried, so we can actually build up our life with God and others.

As followers of Christ, we must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from our lives.” –Dallas Willard

To live more unhurried…to move more at the pace of grace. To continue to put roots down into the practical nature of what it means to align ourselves with Jesus, his teachings and his rhythms/practices — SO THAT we grow to be more and more like him…

The practices of slowing, of simplicity, of solitude and silence — the more you lean into them will craft your soul and cultivate your heart to reflect more of Jesus – that’s part of that great invitation of Jesus…

Practicing the life rhythms of my Savior, with HELP from my Savior, will actually enable me to live more like my Savior.

Matthew 11:28-30 NIV

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”


“It’s because it kills love that hurry is the greatest enemy of the spiritual life. Hurry lies behind much of the anger and frustration of modern life.
–John Ortberg

Hurriedness leads us into reactionary living & selfish living, but living unhurried – frees us to respond intentionally and lovingly.

Q) Do you know the most described emotion of Jesus we see in the Scriptures? Exodus 34:5-8

5 The Lord came down in a cloud, stood with him there, and proclaimed his name, “the Lord.” 6 The Lord passed in front of him and proclaimed:
The Lord—the Lord is a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger and abounding in faithful love and truth, 7 maintaining faithful love to a thousand

generations, forgiving iniquity, rebellion, and sin. But he will not leave the guilty unpunished…8 Moses immediately knelt low on the ground and worshiped.

Psalm 103:8
The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in faithful love.

Matthew 9:35-36
35 Jesus continued going around to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing everydisease and every sickness.
36 When he saw the crowds, he felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dejected, like sheep without a shepherd.

if this is the most described emotion of Jesus — the real question must become: is this the most described emotion of his followers? Of you?

WE see in the life of Jesus dazzling displays of empathy and compassion…

Empathy is the ability to recognize, understand, and share the thoughts and feelings of another. Empathy is the ability to feel what someone else feels, to exit our own feelings and enter the experiences of others. Thus, empathy is the ability to see the world through others’ pain.

Compassion is the outworking of empathy.

In a culture that cultivates empathy and compassion, people will not be made to feel invisible – they will be seen and heard. WE must become people and a church – a place where people are seen and heard. Where love notices and responds and that people feel it.

We must develop an “empathy radar” with an instinctive bias toward acts of grace, peace, mercy, and goodness for everyone.

Empathy notices Compassion responds

4 practices to grow in compassion: Remembering the compassion we received.

Mark 5:18-20 NKJV

18 And when He got into the boat, he who had been demon-possessed begged Him that he might be with Him. 19 However, Jesus did not permit him, but said to him, “Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and

how He has had compassion on you.” 20 And he departed and began to proclaim in Decapolis all that Jesus had done for him; and all marveled.

4 practices to grow in compassion: Remembering the compassion we received.


“Ask 1 more question” principle — listening might be the superpower the world needs more of…

Rejoicing and Mourning

(see Romans 12:15)


Acts 20:35

In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”

We must become more like Jesus – deliberately cultivating Compassion

Don’t grow old and grow grumpy — grow in compassion like Christ.


The greatest apologetic for our theology is the way we treat people. Unless, of course, we act like a jerk.
Then, the greatest threat to our theology is the way we treat people.

“As followers of Christ, we must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from our lives.” –Dallas Willard

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