If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care—then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Philippians 2:1-4 (The Message)
The next helping/counseling characteristic that Carkhuff describes is Empathy. Empathy…
Empathy – Invites – The ability to see the world from another’s perspective and to retain loving objectivity. One needs to have the fruit of PATIENCE in order to have the discipline to put away our own biased filters of perception as best we can to truly see the world from another’s perspective. To empathize is different from sympathize. Sympathy may make another person think or feel like a victim. We cannot afford to foster a victim mentality in our people whom we care about. At the same time, we need to show love and concern, even when people are unlovable. In fact, that is when we need it the most.
The ability to put oneself into another’s shoes takes a good deal of discipline and intention. Indeed, it takes the fruit of patience to truly let go, as much as possible, of our current biases, and see the world from another’s perspective.
Wouldn’t it be awesome in today’s world if we saw more of this?
Prayer: Lord, give us more patience to see the world from perspectives that we currently cannot get to, Amen