The Power of Empathy
Recently, I came across this short video on empathy. It served as an excellent reminder of the differences between empathy and sympathy. Watching this video convicted me how often my ministry with youth has been sympathetic instead of empathetic. How often are we willing to climb down into the pit and identify with family, friends, colleagues or students as they walk down roads of difficulty, death, and destruction?
As we look at the entire ministry of Jesus we see a clear picture of empathy. The incarnation was God’s ultimate expression of empathy. Just as God has been empathetic to us, let us take on the mantle of Jesus Christ and be a church marked with empathy for one anther.
Hebrews 4:14-16 (NIV)
Jesus the Great High Priest
14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into
heaven,[a] Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.
15 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. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace
with confidence, so that we may receiv mercy and find grace to help us in
our time of need.