Monday, May 11, 2009
Empathy...You Gotta Have It
Empathy is defined in Webster's as: the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner.
Why do bad things happen to people.... Why do children die? Why do spouses cheat? Why are people born blind? Why isn't life perfect? Why can't it be? Why do some go through difficult times with their sons....daughters....?
A wise friend of mine is having a difficult time with her teenage son... I don't know what it is and it does not matter if I know.... the fact is my friend is sad and suffering and I can imagine her son is too.... She made a comment to me about a month of ago that I think about often.. Through her tears she said... "I know God wants me to go through this trial...because how can I empathize with others if I have not experienced this kind of sadness myself...."
As I have grown in my faith, I have noticed different areas that I find myself feeling very strong emotions towards.... women who are suffering an unhappy marriage.....been there and I know exactly how it can feel.... the death of a child... been there and I know the pain.... the death of a father...again I know... Having a wild and crazy life before Christ changed my heart....oh yes.. I know the guilt that can be felt and the freedom you can feel once you give it to God... There are so many areas in my life that Christ has healed in me.....and can help me minister to or listen to others with an understanding ear and heart.... Christ wants us to be there for one another..
We need to give glory to God in our suffering and in our happiness. How can we experience true happiness if we have not felt true suffering... We need to serve Him by serving others...God wants us to love one another Agape style.... Use your experiences and reach out to a friend in need.... and just listen with an understanding ear and presence..