“Empathy doesn’t judge what others feel. It understands what others feel.” – Dan Rockwell
This quote by Dan Rockwell really grabbed my attention. I began to look inward and do a little self-evaluation on the subject. As I continued to process the quote, I underline three words and look up their definitions. Those definitions are below:
Empathy is the psychological identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another.
To judge means tending to make quick and excessively critical judgments.
To understand means to be thoroughly familiar with; comprehend clearly the character, nature, or subtleties of.
The world that we are living in these days are charged with challenge. Many things in our lives that were just under the surface have been exposed. Mental health issues, addictions, financial struggles and many more are out there for everyone to see.
It’s very easy to become judgmental. It’s helps ease our own issues and pain when we can throw judgment in someone else’s path. It may help you for a few minutes but in the long run nothing good comes from a judgmental spirit.
The alternative and the way of the believer in Christ is to try to understand. That takes time! It takes getting in their shoes and walking side by side until you can feel what they are dealing with at the time. In the time of trying to understand, you take your eyes off of your own issues and you are able to see, feel and help another person walk through a challenge. That’s empathy. That’s the way a believer in Jesus chooses to live. Sure, it will take some additional time, but it will be time well invested in the lives of people around us that need our time.
Romans 12:15 – Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.