The Value of Empathy
Definition: The ability to understand and share the feelings of another.
- "And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you." – Ephesians 4:32
- "But ye will teach them to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; ye will teach them to love one another, and to serve one another." – Mosiah 4:15
Christ wants us to be kind and to love each other as He loves us. It’s so important that we follow this! What better example do we have than Christ? He showed nothing but kindness and empathy towards others, and we should follow in his footsteps. Have you ever heard that saying, “Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes before you judge their journey?” We all have a different walk in life, different trials to endure, and many ups and downs.
What do your shoes look like? Are they dirty? Do they have holes in them? I guarantee that while we all may wear shoes of different sizes and colors, they all have dirt and holes upon them. We have all sinned in our lives, and we have all experienced hardships.
The next time you encounter a rude cashier, remind yourself of the shoes she’s wearing. Hers may look different for a reason. Maybe her husband just asked her for a divorce or her child is ill in the hospital. Love her as Christ loves you. Try her shoes on for size.
The next time you see a young mother struggling to gain control of her rowdy children, remind yourself of the shoes she’s wearing. Hers may look different for a reason. Maybe she has no support from her husband and she lives far away from family. Love her as Christ loves you. Try her shoes on for size.
The next time you see a young man trying to be all tough, remind yourself of the shoes he’s wearing. His may look different for a reason. Maybe he grew up without a father and his mother had to work and was too tired to spend any time with him. Love him as Christ loves you. Try his shoes on for size.
Every day when we wake up, we should be reminded to not judge others. We need to strive to be empathetic towards others and the trials they endure. We need to love them, pray for them, and show them God’s love. What better way to do this than to follow in His footsteps? Remind yourself of that the next time you want to judge someone. You have no idea the shoes they’ve been wearing — but God does. Show them love and kindness, and try their shoes on for size…you may be surprised by the journey they’ve been on.
Points to Ponder
- Do you find yourself judging people too quickly?
- Have you ever truly put yourself in someone else’s shoes?
- Who in your life do you need to have more empathy for?
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.