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Moved with compassion, not human pity

From the May 2023 issue of The Christian Science Journal


The Bible often mentions compassion, many times in reference to Christ Jesus. It’s clear that the Master radiated this quality as he went about his daily work of teaching and healing. But what is compassion, and what role does it play, should it play, in our lives as followers of Jesus? 

One definition of compassion is “the humane quality of understanding the suffering of others and wanting to do something about it.” Compassion is often confused with a human sense of pity—a feeling of sorrow caused by the suffering of others. But compassion goes a step further, instilling a deep desire to help relieve another’s pain or suffering.

Mary Baker Eddy writes: “God’s ways are not ours. His pity is expressed in modes above the human. . . . The sympathy of His eternal Mind is fully expressed in divine Science, which blots out all our iniquities and heals all our diseases. Human pity often brings pain” (Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, p. 102). 

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