One of the greatest areas of lack in society today is in the area of empathy. People are quick to judge those whom they don’t share similar values, points of view, or life experiences with. In most cases neither side is of an issue is 100% correct but rather than focus on why there may be misunderstanding, people tend to be more concerned with making sure that their opinion is heard. Most are quicker to criticize rather than empathize. To have empathy for someone, you have to be willing to step out of your world into their reality. When Jesus went to the house of Zacchaeus, He modeled empathy.
Look at it like this, if someone tells you about their house, you hear about their reality from your imaginary viewpoint and what you perceive is based on how you interpret what they are saying. But, if you were go to their house, you would now have entered their reality physically, socially, culturally, digitally, and emotionally. The difference between the two is like looking at a picture of a pool and jumping into an actual pool. This is what Jesus did, not only for Zacchaeus, but for all of humanity. He chose to take on human nature and step into mankind’s reality in order to empathize with their struggles and weaknesses.
Empathy is what the Lord is asking His people to have for the lost and deceived. Are you willing to put aside your judgements and opinions long enough to step into someone else’s reality? Is the love of God in you enough that you’ll to reach out to those who may see things from a completely different point of view? Empathizing with others isn’t validating any kind of sin of false doctrines they may have. It’s simply caring enough to be willing to step into their world in an effort show them the love of the Father. To show someone empathy is to show them Jesus. – Love and Blessings, Pastor Jeff