"Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn." Romans 12:15
What IS empathy? What does it mean? I like this definition: "Empathy your pain in my heart."
So, what does this have to do with peace?
Quite a bit, actually!
When I am as worried about how you are feeling as I am about how I feel, I am less likely to create trouble for you. I am less likely to hurt you or offend you.
When I try to put myself into your situation and try to imagine what you are feeling, I will be more careful in how I treat you and quicker to lend a hand.
God created us. He made us in His image. Seeing as He is all-knowing and all-wise and He created us with emotions, one would assume that He would be able to empathize with us when we are hurting or suffering. But, prior to sending His Son Jesus, He really could not fully understand the fears and frustrations human beings face on a daily basis.
But, after 33 years on planet earth as a humble carpenter turned evangelist, God not only could understand us better but He can also empathize with our pain and suffering. In His time on earth, Jesus was confronted with a myriad of emotions and feelings.
That is why Hebrews reminds us, "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tested in every way as we are, yet without sin."
Jesus brought us peace by subjecting himself to trouble and tribulations that eventually lead to His excruciating torturous death. In that time He felt the sting of criticism, the loneliness of rejection, the humiliation of being despised and the frustration of being misunderstood. And, He knows how to comfort us since He can empathize with our emotions. He also knows how to intercede for us before the Father because He has felt the full range of emotions.
When I become a grace-giver instead of a grudge-holder, I help bring peace.
And when I care as deeply about your emotions as I do my own, that helps create peace there.
Looking for peace? Discover grace and peace in Jesus, the empathetic Savior!