Empathy is one of those things that are easier said than done. It’s easy to say you feel sorry for someone without walking in their shoes.
For the past year, I have been learning how to be empathetic toward others while at the same time maintaining my beliefs as a Christian.
When I got evicted last summer, it felt like my whole world had shattered. I was convinced that God wouldn’t let me move out of Jacksonville, Florida for another few years, but everything changed in June of 2021.
The same people who I may have looked down upon for their political or theological views were the same ones who helped me when I was at my lowest point in life.
God has allowed me to go through so much hurt and disappointment in the past year and a half to show me how to be not only sympathetic but empathetic toward others.
Sympathy says, “I feel bad for you, but I can’t help you,” or “at least you are not in this situation.” Empathy is “I feel bad for you and understand why you may feel this way. Let me try to find a solution, but also comfort you in the meantime.” Empathy takes way more effort than saying, “I will pray for you.” It’s listening and understanding the other person’s wants and needs before answering.
Empathy takes wisdom and patience.
“A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in times of need.”
– Proverbs 17:17 [NLT]
“The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense.”
– Proverbs 27:9 [NLT]