5 Verses for When Your Compassion is Running Low

Fake it till you make it.

Feeling follows action.

Just do it.

These are the slogans I’ve been reminding myself with over and over again lately. You see, my compassion (and patience, and tenderness, and…) towards my family has been running a bit low. You could ask them yourself…but please don’t, their answers would not be pretty.

I recently found myself retorting with annoyance and indigence to the tiniest of questions or requests. I even realized – and this is so difficult to admit – that my split-second first reaction to one of my children getting (mildly) hurt was not one of concern or compassion but of rolled-eye-annoyance.

I felt awful. My awful attitude was dragging my whole family down with me, with the woe-is-me-orchestra playing to the very end.

Upon deep introspection, I realized I was the one to blame for the disappearance of my compassion. I found that I was becoming increasingly self-absorbed – a professional navel gazer as it were – and most of my annoyance and lack of tenderness stemmed from my own agenda being interrupted.

Recognizing the source of the issue is great – your source may be different. You may be running on empty having over committed yourself to outside obligations. Maybe you’re working two (or three) jobs just to make ends meet and you’re flat out tired. Maybe you’re going through a rough patch in your marriage. There are a million and one valid reasons for our compassion tanks to run dangerously low.

5 Verses for When Your Compassion is Running LowWhat really matters is what steps we take to help remedy the situation.

For me, the first stop must be Scripture. I need to get into the Word and let it do the cleansing work only the Word of God can do. So, let me share with you 5 Verses for When Your Compassion is Running Low. I’ve also included a way to turn the Scripture into a prayer – my mind works better when I can take the theoretical and turn it into practical.

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1

Oh Father, let my answers be gentle. Remove any harshness from my words, from my heart, from my spirit. Let me not be one who stirs up anger in my home, rather one who can turn away wrath and cultivate an atmosphere of gentleness. Amen.

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” Colossians 4:6

Father God, season my words with your Salt – let them “taste” good to those who receive them. Fill my conversations and words with grace. Help me know how to answer everyone…for there are so many questions to be answered in the life of a mother. Amen.

Let your compassion come to me that I may live, for your law is my delight.” Psalm 119:77

God, I know that I cannot give what I do not possess. Let Your Compassion fall fresh on me today, Lord. Minute by minute, that I might live fully in the light of your Grace and that I might be a tangible extension of that Compassion to my family. Amen.

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 trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” 2 Corintians 1:3-4

How wonderful you are, God! Thank you for comforting me in my times of need – in sadness, anger, frustration and fatigue. Please help me to use that comfort to be a comfort and encouragement to my family as they experience their own time of struggle. Amen.

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” Colossians 3:12-14

Oh Father, how I need your help! Help me to put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience minute by minute. Let that be what others see when they look at me. And help me to forgive my children when the disobey, argue and whine. I know that forgiveness does not equal permission – but I often dole it out as if it does. Cover me with Love, Lord. You are Love, so fit yourself over me that all these things would come together in unity to help me be the wife and mother You created me to be. Amen.

What do you do when your Compassion Tank is in E? What verses help you?


Jen Deibel

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  1. says

    I really appreciate how you turned the verses in the prayers Jen… that’s such a good way to let Him speak in and bring about change. Great post dear friend and I’m thankful for the way you allow God to convict you and work on your heart and the attitudes that overflow…it is such an encouragement to me! Love, K

  2. Susan says

    Thank you for your honesty. “…stemmed from my own agenda being interrupted” Ouch. That has been what God has put on my heart lately. Your reminder to run to Him, cry out for help and forgiveness, and then in turn pour that love and compassion into my family was just what I needed to hear. His grace is sufficient when I remember He gives “my daily bread”, what I need for each minute of every day. It’s when I get ahead of Him that I fall. I pray for you sweet Jen.

  3. Mary says

    It’s been such a blessing to read this at the end of a stressful day. My compassion is running very low as you put on “E”. God put your blog right here for me to read.
    I love these vrs. I wrote down each of them so I can turn to them when I’m feeling low. Thank you for sharing your gift of prayer, each of them were so beautiful. May God bless you!!

  4. Samantha says

    Thank you so much for this! What you wrote really speaks to me right now…I have been going through so much of the same emotionally, and yes, I too have been annoyed by “boo-boos” and the many other calls for help that interfere with my agenda! And the crazy thing for me is that i have worked pretty hard to simplify our life. I don’t overschedule, I don’t even text anymore, and I try to keep it laid back. But the unavoidable truth about being a mom is that there will always be something that needs to get done, and there is no escaping the fact that we will be stretched to our limit, constantly interrupted, and feel like we could crumble sometimes. I’m finally starting to see that it’s no accident that children do this to us!Compassion and empathy are really really hard to live out consistently, in all moments, all the time, and there are times I feel like I’ve got it nailed and plenty o’ times I have absolutely ZERO sympathy or good will left in me. That’s why these strategies-like memorizing the verses you chose-are so helpful. My personal strategy the past few days has been to go back to my quiet time, and that means waking up at 4:15 am bc my girls are early risers. I used to do my early morning Bible study to feel like a good girl and I do believe I actually bragged about this but God was merciful and took that pride from me..And now I am in His word for strength and survival!
    Sorry to write so much but you spoke so directly to what has been eating at me lately. Thank you so much, Jennifer!

    • says

      Oh wow, friend, what a journey!! I am so grateful that He speaks to us so clearly and freely! And I am so honored and humbled to part of the vessel he uses to do that. Blessings, friend.

  5. Rhonda says

    Thank you for these scriptures and prayers. I am struggling with this in my life at this time. I am going to put each one on a notecard and post them over my quiet time area so I can begin praying these each morning. God bless you!

  6. Elizabeth says

    These are wonderful verses! Much needed these days. I am a trauma nurse and there are moments at work when I find myself annoyed by things that should not cause that reaction. Some days are harder than others to find the compassion within me but I know having these verses will help steer me back in the direction of healing with true compassion as God has given me.

    • says

      That’s one of the wonderful things about the Word – it speaks into every situation!! Blessings on you as you work in one of the most difficult, demanding and often thankless fields there is!

  7. says

    I can’t thank you enough for writing this. My compassion is not lacking so much for my children but for my husband. This post reminded me that I have great power to lift up or tear down with my actions as well as my words! I will carry this forward!!

    • says

      Oh yes, I often struggle with this as well. I tend to look at my husband as my fourth child instead of the love of my life! Or at least my actions say that, even if I don’t intentionally think of him that way. Blessings on your marriage and family as you seek to honor God in it!

  8. Cheri Lueck says

    Professional navel grazer. Hilarious. You need humor when confessing your sins to the world. Especially to your family. I’m a professional navel grazer. And I have more than one agenda every day that I don’t want interrupted. My poor hubby and boys. Thank you for praying the scripture. How practical and efficient. Thanks for giving me words to pray. I’m so tired. But I prayed the prayers you gave us. God is so merciful. May I love (to give) mercy, do justly , and walk humbly with our God.

  9. Alyson says

    Thanks so much for this, the first scripture and prayer is one that really spoke to me the most. I will be learning this verse and making this a daily prayer after i finish work and before I get home as i have found myself way to snappy and harsh with my words to my children when I get home

    • says

      That is such a great idea!! I, too, find I tend to be more curt after being away all day. I just want some time to decompress before it all starts. Praying your commute home will be just that for you!

  10. Kirsten says

    Geez wizz, I think I could have written this! My go to is church, especially the heart reaching worship music. I should turn to scripture sooner but I always just keep plugging along until things appear to get better. Definitely going to have to follow this blog! Thank you!

  11. BG says

    Thank you for this post. I also have been running on E lately. Between 4 rowdy boys and a husband going through a rough season, I have been running on fumes! I am guilty of the look of annoyance for boo- boos and I am also guilty of seeing my husband as my 5th child, as you stated in a comment above. It is hard to get time to switch from ‘mom mode’ to wife/adult’ mode so I can give him the attention he fully deserves. I feel like I just run-run-run all day long! Thank you for being so honest and open and thank you for these verses. With school about to start and the business to increase, I will need these specific verses!

  12. Kathryn says

    Thank you so much for your article and honesty. I have recently found myself desperately needing to hear these verses. Within the past year I have entered a relationship where we are creating a blended family and in our blended family we have 8 children, he had 4 from a previous marriage as do I. So you can I’m sure imagine the stress that we are all under. I knew it would be challenging because it is not God’s intention for divorce to happen in the first place therefore blended families are bound to be complicated because we are not in God’s perfect will for our lives and anything outside of His perfect will has challenges that He never intended for us to face. I just didn’t realize just HOW HARD this was going be. I know with God’s grace and forgiveness we can have a happy and healthy family but we must face the challenges we brought on ourselves. Although isn’t it lovely that although we fail Him time after time He is always there to pick us up, comfort us, & piece us back together with his love. Thank you again so much for this and ft er leased I pray that God can give me the compassion and patience I need every day. From now on I am leaning on him and those verses.


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