Bible illustrator Steven May, in his work THE STORY FILE, shares the following:
On July 3, 1988, an American navy cruiser, thinking itself to be under attack by an Iranian F-14, gunned down an Iranian airliner containing 290 civilian passengers, killing them all. Polls revealed that most Americans were against paying compensation to the Iranian victims' families; the hostage crisis was still fresh in many minds. In spite of this, President Reagan approved compensation.
"Afterward," May continues, "he was asked by reporters if such payment would send the wrong signal. His response was, 'I don't ever find compassion a bad precedent.' Revenge may be easier to practice, but compassion demonstrates the heart of God."
Good leadership is compassionate leadership, and recognizes that compassion is not subject to public opinion.
"Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive" (Colossians 13:12-13).