Friday, October 30, 2015

EMPATHY

There are some situations and circumstances in my life that I would not wish on anybody. However, there are some cases where nothing satisfies like an empathizing friend or brother/sister in Christ. Finding out that one of your friends, Christian or not, has had a similar, if not exact, challenge in their life takes away the loneliness - the why is this happening to me feeling - of the situation.

Empathy gets even better when a friend shares his/her experience and then comes alongside you to help anyway possible. It is one thing for a friend or acquaintance to share they have been in the same spot you are now. It is another thing for empathizers to display their love and care. I realize that some situations are sensitive and may require the asking of permission to get involved, but at least do that - step forward and show that you are willing to put actions behind your good wishes and been-there-done-that speech.

I have got Good News for all of us - "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet He did not sin." - Hebrews 4:15

But wait there's more!  

God does not leave empathizing just at Jesus, Father God sends us The Holy Spirit, also known as our Advocate, our Consoler and Counselor, our Comforter. In the original Greek, His name is rendered Parakletos (par - ak - lay - tos). John 14:25-26 tells us how the Holy Spirit continues to love on us - 
  • "the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you." 
God's Spirit, residing within us, now becomes the teacher and He will always be in agreement with Jesus - The Word of God (reminding us of everything Jesus has said to us). God also promises to never walk away or abandon you (Hebrews 13:5). In those moments when you feel God is far away, rebuke that feeling because it is Not the truth. His hand of favor may come off of your life for an act of disobedience, but His presence is promised throughout your life and mine (Matthew 28:20).

Of all the people to have empathy toward us, I am beyond happy and thankful that God sent His only Son as our High Priest to empathize with our weaknesses and be tempted in every way that we are - yet did not sin. This means I can come to Him for comfort and advice because He has the victory. It also means I can empathize with others and be Christ's words, hands and feet extended.