Christianity · Devotional · guidance

Compassion is important

Everyone these days believes in empathy. Understanding the position of the other person, where they are at and where they are coming from. Though empathy has its benifits I believe more in compassion. Putting yourself in the other person’s shoes is not always a good idea. Sometimes loving and showing kindness requires you to be dissconected from the person themselves because the situation is not safe or is unhealthy. Other times understanding the other person’s point of view is impossible for you, I can love my friend who is an addict, but I cannot emphasize with them. I can love the homeless man out front of WalMart, but I have no way of relating to him and his story. Empathy has a place, but it is not the begin all and end all of human and Christian emotion, this is my opinion, but I would say compassion is more important in the long run. Compassion does not require you to understand where the other person is at that moment in their lives, compassion says, ‘I can’t understand, but I want to love you and help you anyways.’ Compassion does have a space of empathy in it, because you understand that the other person is hurting and needs help. But you can’t always undertand the situation the person is in. Compassion is also less condisending. Empathy forces you to Place yourself in the other person’s shoes, in doing that you see how you would respond to the situation and you feel you have a right to tell them that they should try and do things the way you would. Compassion simply says, that person is hurting and in need, they don’t need my opinion But they might need a shoulder to cry on. Jesus calls us to love one another, he doesn’t call us to be one another. Having a certain understanding where the other person is at can be important but it can be taken too far. Walk a mile in my shoes and your feet might gain my blisters. If you are trying to be empathetic to someone’s sin you are opening the door to commiting that sin yourself. Empthy is good when it is in it’s place. Compassion is good at all times. All it takes to be compassionate is the love of God showing us how to care for those around us. God Himself is compassionate to us and we would be so lost without that.

Just a thought.

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