The other day I read through some Buddhist text. (To read such stuff always reminds me why I am a Christian.) Tibetan teaching, is that when we are happy, we should not get lost in our own happiness, but share the karma of happiness with others. Likewise, when we suffer, others share the suffering with us.
In my favorite wedding service that I often use there is a paragraph that says: “Marriage is a companionship which involves mutual commitment and responsibility. You will share alike in the responsibilities and the joys of life. When companions share a sorrow the sorrow is halved, and when they share a joy the joy is doubled.”
Christianity at its best is filled with compassion. It is sharing joy when our heart is filled with joy. It is sharing a consoling arm around the shoulders of someone who is hurting inside. Compassion is the outward response of an inward grace that has already been given. Compassion is what we have because of what we have received in Jesus.
Compassion is great when we go on mission trips, give generously to worthy causes, or help a neighbor with their yardwork. However, compassion doesn’t start there, it starts at home with our spouse, our children, our parents, and those we love.