Spiritual Gift of Compassion

Compassionate people are another of the serving gifts.These are people persons, quieter and less outgoing than those with a speaking gift of perceiver, teacher or administrator. The gift of compassion includes an almost supernatural sensitivity to the emotions of others. These people get upset when a baby bird falls out of its nest and is grabbed by the neighbors cat.
This unique sensitivity makes them apt to feel wounded or offended easily and they cry over everything. Correction and criticism that would not faze a teacher or administrator  will break the heart of a compassionate person. They live through their feelings. If they feel sad because they weather is rainy, even the excitement of an upcoming vacation probably won’t lift their spirits, because by golly, they feel sad and so it’s a sad day. They need to know that feelings lie, that we can’t base our decisions on how we feel because we’ll make some very bad decisions that way.

In the body of Christ, compassion people are the glue that helps us stick together. They reach out to hurting people, they notice when someone hasn’t been to church in a while and will call them to see if they’re okay. They can sense, in a room full of people, the one person who is feeling lonely and sad. Now, if their gift of compassion has been recognized, appreciated and encouraged, so they have sufficient sense of self worth, the compassion person will reach out to a hurting person with God’s love and comfort. If their gift has been ignored or ridiculed, or unappreciated as a child, they will not understand the importance of their gift and they won’t have the confidence to share it.

More than any other gift, compassion people need to be built up, encouraged and showered with love and hugs. They need to know they are NOT being overly-sensitive when they cry over every little thing. They certainly need to learn some perspective about over-reacting, but they should never be told their feelings are wrong.

Descriptive words:
Love everyone
Hurt when others are hurting
Exceptionally shy
Dislikes confrontation
Poor self image
Needs lots of hugs and affirmations

About Susan Scott


  1. Tami Tillman says:

    I was taking a silly Facebook quiz, it said my spiritual gift was compassion, I was looking for the definition and to see if it was indeed a spiritual gift. A google search brought me here. I attempted to request your application on “how to know God’s will. It stated it was no longer available. Your explanations restored my belief that I may actually serve a purpose. I’m hoping that I could still receive your publication as budget is so tight I can’t afford such luxury’s

  2. Susan Scott says:

    Tami, Thank you so much for taking the time to let me know the link isn’t working. I appreciate that. While I work on fixing it, I’ve sent you an email with the direct link (plus another goodie 🙂 )

  3. Gail Nelson says:

    For years I always thought something was wrong with me. Why do I feel the need to help everybody? Why am I hurting for someone I hardly know? I don’t know how I stumbled upon this blog, but you don’t know how inspired and uplifted I am to know God thought enough of me to give me such a gift. Thank you for this info

  4. Susan Scott says:

    I am so glad you found some encouragement. The gift of compassion is probably the least valued and the most needed of all the gifts. People with a strong gift of compassion tend to be shy and easily overwhelmed in social situations because they pick up on the emotional undercurrents in a room. Other people don’t even notice the stream of emotion so they simply don’t understand the compassionate person’s need to get away from it. I hope you find ways to share your gift while at the same time respecting your unique need for extra space, serenity, and stress-free times to recharge.

  5. This is so helpful.

  6. Susan Scott says:

    So glad you liked it!

  7. Being a.man, this gift has been particularly difficult to understand. Seldom do you see a man getting emotional over the pain of others. Internally, I greatly appreciate this gift. I love feeling a connection with those who are hurting and being compelled to help when I can. Honestly, I wouldn’t want it any other way. I sometimes find it difficult when I see someone hurting and I don’t have the means to help them. Because I am ao emotional, I sometimes feel as though I am weak or too soft. For some reason I don’t do well in social situations or make friends easily.

  8. Susan Scott says:

    Of all the gifts, compassion is the one to be most desired. People with a high degree of compassion also have tremendous strength of character. They do not put themselves first, they have an innate, subconscious level of confidence which lets them put their own needs aside and care for the needs of others. I’m sure you are often amazed at the insensitivity of some people toward the needy and disadvantaged in society. It’s because they are too wrapped up in worrying about themselves. They don’t have the confidence that their needs will be taken care of so they feel they have to look out for number 1 first. You, however, are able to be unselfish in the presence of people who are hurting.
    The strongest, most confident and courageous man ever to live was also the most compassionate. Jesus could never be called wimpy; he strode into the holy temple in Jerusalem and trashed the market place in the courtyard. Yet he was tender and compassionate with the woman who was caught in adultery. It takes more strength to be compassionate because, as I said above, you have to be willing to make someone else’s needs more important than your own. You have a strength and courage so natural to your character that you don’t even recognize it, which is true of compassionate people in general.
    Unfortunately the gift of compassion is under-rated in today’s society. The people who get attention are attractive, athletic, outgoing, or intellectually gifted. Our culture treats those traits as more valuable, but that doesn’t mean they are. As a result, people with a high gift of compassion get ignored. If you don’t stand out as an athletic star, the prom king, the go-getter, or the trouble maker, you just don’t get much attention. A lifetime of being the quiet unnoticed one can lead compassionate people to feel less worthy then everyone else and thus uncomfortable in social situations. In fact, you are the most valuable person in the room because you can tell what’s going on below the surface. You sense the tensions or the person who pretends to be happy but who is really hurting inside.
    You can be the one person who will zero in on that hurting person and will give them sympathetic, understanding, and undivided, attention. The next time you are in a group, instead of trying to deal with the group as a whole, let your instincts guide you to one person whom you sense could use a friendly smile or a word of encouragement.

  9. T Alex Nelson says:

    I love to help people without looking back for anything in return what you think is my gift

  10. Thank you for this post. God Bless You.

  11. I have alays thought myself as someone who is very soft hearted but because I have had to fight my own corner for years, I am a mix of emtions. Today I felt the Holy Spirit say ‘ask for compassion’. Some things I read about make me feel intense pain inside because of the compassion I feel. Other situations I seem able to not be moved by at all. However the point I want to make is that because I do feel very painful feelings of compassion for certain things, I am almost afraid to ask God for more, as I am not sure I will be able to handle it.

  12. I wasn’t too sure whether compassion was my gift or just one of my personality traits, but this post was very helpful and I saw myself in a lot of what you described which I found quite surprising lol. Now I just need to work on using this gift for God 🙂

  13. David Heath says:

    This blows my mind. You just described described me to a T. It all makes sense now. I am a musician …my name is David…n i cry at a moth stuck in a light globe…lol. Thank you so much for this information. Now I now what to do. Praise God for my gift of compassion. Let now one suffer in my presence!!!

  14. Susan Scott says:

    It’s a blessing to learn something more about ourselves. And always in God’s perfect timing, too. You don’t have to learn how to “use your gift for God” if you remember it is God’s gift, in you. He will use it to His glory. There is no work we can do in our own power. If you set your focus on knowing God and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal more of Christ to you, in you, and through you, then you’ve done your part. God will do all the rest because as Christ is revealed, our lives are transformed into His likeness and then His gifts will operate through you naturally.

  15. Susan Scott says:

    I am thrilled to know learning your gifting is freeing you up to operate in that gift. I can only imagine how powerfully God can move through your music and your gifting as you worship Him. I can see a worship service so filled with His presence people are healed, comforted, and encouraged by the Holy Spirit as you perform. God Bless!

  16. Breezy Brenda says:

    Thank You so much Susan . 💞💞💞 Yesterday I did this meditation and found out my gift is compassion .
    I had no idea . I know Im always wanting to help People ,but doesnt everyone ?
    Its only in the last 3 years Im getting to know who I really am , lol & Im 63 . A sure sign that its never too late .
    This explains so much and I can really relate to what everyone else is sharing . I feel so very blessed . Lately I have been feeling more and more sensitive . Seeing or reading things can make my heart feel like its going to burst with love or cringe with ugh . Ive been doing a lot of studying on my own and am aware I have full control over my emotions . I was so shut down for years , for a good reason , I believe it helps me now as its easy for me to dial it .
    back after the initial feeling is felt . Amen .
    Im hoping too that I can find your link on ” how to know Gods will ? ”
    Bye for now , Breezy

  17. Susan Scott says:

    I’m so thrilled you found this blog post! I love to hear from people who are re-discovering the gift of compassion. Compassionate children can have some really hard times while growing up because being sensitive is often considered a character flaw. They get told to toughen up, stop crying over everything, be like everyone else! The world needs more compassion, not less. When you have a heart of compassion, you have the heart of the Lord. Bless you and your tender heart!

    Here’s a link to an article on God’s will for our lives: Is it God’s Will or Mine?

  18. Thank you for your posting. I must say though, that I consider myself highly empathic and compassionate. I feel other people’s emotions and illnesses, often before they are aware. I feel the disturbance of individuals and groups thousands of miles away. I spend many hours alone discharging the energy of others. I appreciate what you have written as I was made wrong for my sensitivities and still do by my own family. I do not see my “Sense”-itivites as weakness. I see them as a strength, “Sense”-abilities. I have abilities other’s do not. I am ahead most of the time on what is happening and what needs to happen. However, I must point out that the first couple of sentences in your post do not describe me. I am bold, outspoken, an activist, and not shy when it comes to confronting what needs to be done, or said. I reach out when I recognize someone hurting. I can teach, write, speak, lead groups, etc… yet I fit the rest of the article on the whole. So, my point is you can be both! BOLD, OUTSPOKEN and COMPASSIONATE. With great love, thank you for your writings. By sharing we all grow.

  19. Susan Scott says:

    Melinda, How wonderful you recognize your sensitivities as a gift! Many people in your shoes see only the challenges of living as an empath and being bombarded daily with an overload of stimulation from the world. You are more than just compassionate, you have the gift of mercy. The gift of mercy goes beyond simply understanding and empathizing with people. It is a unique ability to “know” in a deep and physical way what is going on in the emotions of others so you are able to intercede with powerful prayers. I suspect you also have the gift of perceiving which is a strong desire to know and share truth. What a great combination! You know what people need to hear and you can share it with empathy and compassion instead of condemnation or judgement. To persevere without support of your family is a testimony to God’s faithfully working out of His plan in your life!

  20. Hello Susan, What can you tell me about the gift of Mercy. I find that when something bad happens my heart goes about the the perpetrator also. Especially if I can sense their deep remorse. I worry about their legacy, their salvation and the pain they will endure the rest of their lives for their actions. My husband had an affair and I forgave him after hearing his deep cries for forgiveness. My father did something unspeakable and horrendous and my heart breaks for him and the legacy he is leaving behind. Someone said that their is something deeply wrong with my thinking.

  21. Susan Scott says:

    Jean, to have a deep sense of grief over the fate of evil people is completely understandable. You know the eternity they face if they do not accept Jesus. You’ve been given a heart for the lost. There is nothing wrong about that. If your friend is right that it is “deeply wrong thinking” to desire mercy for the sinner then God also stands accused of wrong thinking. That boat don’t float!

    Perhaps God wants to minister to the lost through you. Maybe He is calling you to be a prayer warrior for the lost. I would seek answers in scipture, prayer, and counsel with godly leaders. The only danger is the temptation to see “good” in everyone and become naive about the depths of evil in the world. Mercy needs to be joined with discernement. Wise as a serpent and gentle as a dove! Be careful about trusting your sense about their remorse. Evil is incredibly deceitful and the evil in our own heart (where the desire to find good in everyone resides) is the most deceitful of all.

    As to worrying about their legacy – what we leave behind is immaterial. God and God alone is in complete control. He can and will mend families and heal the generations. When someone commits a horrendous act, it affects not only the victim, but the perpetrator, the families and generations to follow. The ripples go far beyond what we can imagine, concieve, or control. We simply do not know the extent of the impact. But God does and He has a plan to use it all for His glory and the good of those who love Him. Our ONLY job is to love well – love God and others. That’s a big enough job to worry about, there’s no time left over to worry about other stuff!


  1. […] Compassion: Compassionate people are another of the serving gifts. That should tell you already these are people persons, quieter and less outgoing than those with a speaking gift of perceiver, teacher and administrator. The gift of compassion includes an almost supernatural sensitivity to the emotions of others. This unique sensitivity makes them apt to feel wounded or offended easily and they cry over everything. Correction and criticism that would not faze a teacher or administrator will break the heart of a compassionate person. They live through their feelings. If they feel sad because they weather is rainy, they feel sad and so it’s a sad day. […]

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