Get off Your Donkey! Helping Highly Sensitive People Cultivate Compassion


As the first of my “Spiritual Sundays”, I discuss the parable of the Good Samaritan and what that has to do with highly sensitive people experiencing compassion. This is first of a 3-part sermon!



Main Passage: Who is my Neighbor? Luke 10:25-37 (NASB)

    1. The Good Samaritan30 Jesus replied and said, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, and they stripped him and [c]beat him, and went away leaving him half dead. 31 And by chance a priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 Likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion,34 and came to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 On the next day he took out two [d]denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return I will repay you.’ 36 Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers’ hands?” 37 And he said, “The one who showed mercy toward him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do [e]the same.”


      This is of course a parable – which means it is not a literal account. It’s a story to illustrate a point. But it’s a moral story – one that we read and draw closer to God through it. They were given during a time that writing was not the prevailing means of communication. And podcasts were not quite thought of yet.

      There’s actually a lot of depth in this one and I have a huge tendency to over-do things and cram a 2 hour sermon into 45 minutes. So I decided to break it into 3 sections – and I’ll probably still over-talk it.



      So for today, I want to cover 3 steps to cultivating compassion in our lives.

      First – Compassion Starts with a Stop (Stop)

      So we have our victim lying here: naked, beaten, half-dead. People walked by him, not stopping to help. We’ll talk more about some of those character next week.

      For this one, an unlikely hero comes along. You see, these two were not from the same camp.

      I’m from central Ohio and if there’s one thing we do all-out here, it’s college football. We have tons of people who bleed scarlet and gray. And with that, comes a natural rivalry towards the team up north. And we mean rivalry. During the week of the game, people X out anything on campus that has an M in it. There are blood drives to see which school can donate more. And no one dares utter the name of that team.

      So much, that we were watching Antiques Roadshow as a family. A lady had a Michigan football helmet from the 1940’s – the old leather caps – and my son said we needed to change the channel.

      So even come from this environment, I have a hard time imagining what it would be like to see the rivalry between the Jews and the Samaritans. They had a feud that went back 400 years at this time – and again, we’ll talk more about this next week.

      Suffice to say, the Samaritan had to check his own prejudices. He had to stop and see. And to do that, he had to get off his donkey.   

      He first had to register and understand the pain of this man.

      And that’s what we need to do. We need to get out our donkeys – or whatever conveyance is keeping us apart from others. “Get off your high horse”  

      The apostle Peter counseled Christians to have “compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous” (1 Peter 3:8, NKJV).

      Illus – podcast bullying

      Think about a situation that’s stressing you out … stop.

      Person …

      Or for highly sensitive people, many of us have no problem feeling compassion for others…. But there’s someone close to us who has been beaten, robbed, and exposed … that’s ourselvels.  

      Second, Compassion Grows with Understanding (Think)

      Stopping is only the first step. It’s gets us present and leads us to the hurting people, but then we have to open our eyes, ears, and heart for understanding.

      and when he saw him, he felt compassion,34 and came to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 

      Compassion “Suffering together” – understanding the other person’s emotional state

      He puts the man own his own beast – on his own donkey. He demoted himself; he elevated the man who could not care for himself.

      to “rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn” (Romans 12:15).

      Michael – homework

      Action: Think – think about what is needed.


      Third, Compassion Requires Action (Act)

      and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 On the next day he took out two [d]denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return I will repay you.


      Compassion has a cost – donkey8 went to the inn

      “If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in  need but has no pity [empathy] on them, how can the love of God be in that person?” (1 John 3:17).

      Compassion – to be moved as to one’s bowels, hence to be moved with compassion, have compassion (for the bowels were thought to be the seat of love and pity)

      We need to walk with people for a while – not judge them on Facebook.

      Christologial Implications

      Jesus felt this compassion

      12 uses of the word saw  – 2 are parables, 1x it’s asked of Jesus – 9 times – all prescribed to Christ


      Be Like Christ

      2 Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any [a]affection and compassion, make my joy complete [b]by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing [c]from [d]selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude [e]in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be [f]grasped, but [g]emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death [h]on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.


      Nebrews 4:5 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yetwithout sin.


      Matthew 9:36 – But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion G4697 on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.


      And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion G4697 toward them, and he healed their sick. Matthew 4:14


      Then Jesus called his disciples unto him, and said, I have compassion G4697 on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days, and have nothing to eat: and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way. Matthew 15:2


      Towards the Grieving widow in Luke 7:13


      And one of my favorite stories, the parable of the prodigal son – Luke 15:20


      And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, G4697 and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.


      Nobody knows what it’s like to be stuck on the road – unless they’ve been the one stuck on the side of the road.





      Next week – The Character of Compassion



Also available in video format (coming soon)
Matthew E. Morgan, MA, LPCC

Matthew E. Morgan, MA, LPCC


Today’s show is hosted by Matthew Morgan, a licensed professional clinical counselor in Ohio. Matthew’s favorite roles are as a husband and father. He also is known for loving his coffee. See more about Matthew here

Behind the Podcast Thoughts:

ARRRRGGHH!!!  I have never had so many snaufus in podcasting. The first time I tried record this message, the software ate it. So I had to rewrite it. My throat had a tickle, but I pushed through until my throat dried out. So I paused, grabbed a cough drop and continued – only to find out 20 minutes later that I had not unmuted the microphone. It’s not perfect, but it’s a miracle this one ever saw the light of day!