Empathy is one of the faith-muscles that God designed into us when he created us in his own image. Empathy is why the divine Jesus became one of us and then died for us. Empathy is a powerful expression of love that can redeem a bad situation into a good one.
In our relationship with our beloved, empathy is what makes a strong marriage.
Empathy is not the same as sympathy. It doesn’t mean feeling sorry for someone. It involves compassion — which in biblical terms means to walk with someone through their difficulties with passion, i.e., as Christ. It begins with the question, “Why did they do what they did?” And it ends with the question, “How can I help?” It’s a journey of passionately caring because we understand something about what our beloved is feeling and why.
When we don’t understand well enough to care this much (yet), we can go into our personal storehouse of memories to find an experience that caused us to feel or react in a similar way. There is no human experience that is so different from all other human experiences that we cannot relate to it. Once we get in touch with that similarity, we automatically connect to what’s happening in our beloved today. We empathize.
Empathy is the power to love in a way that makes our beloved feel cared about. And caring is the catalyst for healing.
- What do I empathize with in my beloved’s life? Does he/she know I feel this way?
- What has my sweetheart done recently that shows me that he/she cares about me? How is this empathy?
Strengthen your relationship:
Share with each other ideas about how Jesus is empathizing with what’s going on in your lives right now. Then pray together, asking the Holy Spirit to reveal to you the compassionate presence of Jesus all through the day, every day.
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© 2017 by Terry Modica of Good News Ministries