Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.
1 Peter 3:8
Nowadays, we are constantly being told that personal well-being precedes every other priority in life. Though it is essential to care for and nurture one’s own soul, it is equally important to practice empathy, which involves understanding and sharing the feelings of others. Empathy possesses and demonstrates compassion, understanding, and forgiveness toward others. The impact of even the smallest act of empathy can positively alter the path of someone’s day. In high school, I had a friend struggling with managing school, cheer practice, college applications, and issues within her family. When a group project went awry, I let out my frustration on her and I believed that my treatment of her permanently altered the course of our friendship. Had I been more empathetic, her stress would have been alleviated and our relationship would not have been negatively affected. Jesus exhibited a myriad of empathetic behavior, including forgiving the woman who committed adultery and was to be stoned in John 8. The whole town turned against this woman, and Jesus was the only one who demonstrated empathy towards her. As Jesus is empathetic and forgiving to us, we are to treat others with empathy and love.
God, give us Your heart so we can treat others with empathy. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.