After a long, long, long hiatus, BIBLE BREAKDOWNS ARE BACK!
These were actually my main motivation for starting a blog (posting pictures full of text on Snapchat got slightly confusing), but even with all the Bible studies I’ve put together recently, I never sat down to share them with y’all. That’s really what these Breakdowns are; me studying the Bible. I started off thinking I could fit it all in one post, but it’s turned into at least a three-parter. I’d recommend packing some snacks for the road, because this is about to be a super nerdy, etymology-heavy journey from yours truly.
If you haven’t realized, I love words. I use them a lot, so I like to know what they mean. I got a prophecy awhile ago that lead me to study Esther, whose Hebrew name was Hadassah. I read the book in my study Bibles and re-watched the Veggietales movie, but I know that names are pretty much always important in the Bible. So, I looked it up and somehow came to the conclusion that Hadassah means “compassion”. The internet seems to be more confident about it meaning “myrtle”, but nonetheless my Twitter name was Hadassah for months, because learning about Esther and what I thought her name meant turned into me studying compassion, and that hit me hard.
If you look up “compassion”, you get this:
- sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.
Pretty simple, right?
When you look up “compassion etymology”, things get spicy. “Compati” lead to “compassio”, which eventually became “compassion”.
com – with, together
pati – to suffer
2+2=4, and compassion = to suffer with. Suffer. With. That’s deeper than our understanding of sympathy, or of concern; when someone else is going through it, so are you. You literally feel for them, letting yourself become intimately aware of what they’re battling.
This gives passages like 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 a really poignant perspective:
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.”
(some translations replace “compassion” with “mercy”–the original Greek text says οἰκτιρμός, or oiktirmos, which means “compassion, pity” and can be used to mean “mercy”. More on translations in pt.2!)
A God Who knows how we suffer is a God Who can comfort us as we suffer. Jesus was tempted. Jesus wept. Jesus was weary. Jesus was beaten, broken, and killed in a pretty horrific way. Resurrection Sunday is coming so The Passion of the Christ clips are floating all over social media, but I feel like there’s no way any rendition could do an actual crucifixion justice. With everything He experienced on Earth, He reinforced Himself as being the perfect Person to run to when we need comfort.
So, compassion. Compati. A quality regularly displayed by Jesus, which means we can show it too, with the help of His Spirit. I have an old post about bearing fruit where I highlight how important it is to be aware of what we’re producing. If you water an apple tree, you’re gonna end up with apples. Not mangos, not peanut butter toast. Apples. So when you water yourself with Living Water (future Easter egg alert!), you’re gonna end up with the fruit of Spirit that lives in you.
And you know something else this Spirit brings?
I’m bout to go there… later!
I wasn’t kidding when I said this is gonna be etymology-heavy, so I’ll let y’all sit with this lil intro for now. What hit home for you? And for my word nerds, what are some definitions you enjoy? Let me know in the comments!
be blessed bbys ✨
7 thoughts on “(com)pati-, pt.1”
I love this post! Our God is a God of compassion, meaning not only that God knows we suffer, but also that God suffers with us. This brings me comfort, for it lets me know that in my darkest moments, I am not alone. God knows exactly what I am going through, God knows exactly how it hurts – God understands completely. It also motivates me, because if God suffers when I suffer, then when I experience joy and love, God does as well! It makes it easier to understand my responsibility in life and the role I can play in the lives of others. We suffer together, we rise together. Love it!
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yes! thanks for sharing Paige!