"She stretches out her hand to the poor; yea, she reaches forth her hands to the needy." - v. 20
A godly woman is compassionate.
This goes hand-in-hand with what we were talking about last week; our compassion will move us to be generous.
Webster's Dictionary - Compassionate: having or showing compassion; sympathetic
Compassion: sympathetic consciousness of others' distress together with a desire to alleviate it.
Strong's Concordance - Compassion: to have the bowels yearn, i.e. (figuratively) feel sympathy, to pity:—have (be moved with) compassion.
1. Psalm 78:38-39 - God remembers that we are only flesh, and compassionately forgives us
2. Psalm 86:15 - God is full of compassion
3. Mathew 9:36-38, Mark 6:34 - Jesus had compassion on the lost multitudes, and prayed that God would send workers to guide them
4. Matthew 14:14 - Jesus had compassion, and healed them
5. Matthew 15:32, Mark 8:2 - Jesus had compassion, and fed them
6. Matthew 18:23-35 - a parable of having compassion and showing forgiveness, as Christ did for us
7. Matthew 20:34 - Jesus had compassion, and restored their vision
8. Mark 1:41 - Jesus healed a leper
9. Luke 7:12-15 - Jesus brought a widow's son back to life out of compassion
10. Luke 10:30-37 - the Samaritan had compassion
11. Luke 15:20 - the father had compassion on his prodigal son
12. Romans 12:15 - sympathize with each other, both in joy and sorrow
13. Ephesians 4:32 - be kind and tender hearted
14. Philipians 2:1-2 - be of one mind, show love with compassion
15. Colossians 3:12-13 - as God's elect, we should show compassion
16. Hebrews 2:17-18 - Jesus suffered as we do so that he can be a compassionate and merciful high priest
17. Hebrews 14:15-16 - Jesus is compassionate for he was tempted as we are
18. Hebrews 15:1-2 - every earthly high priest is an example of Christ, in that he can have compassion for the weak, because he has weakness, too
19. 1 Peter 3:8-9 - be of one mind, and compassionate to each other
Jesus is our ultimate example of compassion. Everywhere he went, he had compassion on people, both for their spiritual needs and for their physical needs; this led him to heal, feed, and pray for them. God showed compassion on the Israelites and on us, remembering that we are just weak, frail flesh, and forgiving us. Cannot we then, remember that everyone else is also just frail flesh, and have compassion?
I have seen these quotes going around on Facebook and Pinterest, which all credit different authors but all have the same idea of "You never know what someone is going through, so be kind" or "Be kind, because everyone is fighting a hard battle." That is compassion; and although we may not know exactly what another person is going through, we too are humans and ought to be able to sympathize.
I love the picture that is used in Hebrews of Jesus being our high priest; he intentionally and willingly suffered and was tempted as we are so that he could be a compassionate and faithful intercessor for us before God. It then continues to say that earthly high priests can also be compassionate to the weak and lost around them, because they, too, have weakness. An earthly high priest could be a pastor, or maybe a missionary, but it can also be you and me, as in 1 Peter 2:9, we are referred to as a "royal priesthood".
And so, as God's people, we should be of one mind with each other, being compassionate, and sympathizing with each other in both joy and sorrow; that sympathy should then move us to show love, kindness, tenderness, patience, etc. We do those things, not just because it is our duty, but because of the compassion we feel as a result and example of the compassion Christ gives to us.