Walk This Way: Empathize

“Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” (Romans 12:15)

This week, we’re jumping back into Romans 12 to learn more about what it means to follow Jesus in our everyday lives.

walk_350My wife is one of the best empathizers I know. She is really good at walking after Jesus this way.

If you were with her right now and told her about something terrible that just happened to you, you would see what you were feeling in her face. She might take a step closer to you. You would feel understood. If you had good news, you might wonder if she was even happier about it than you are. And she might be.

Here’s the deal: She’s not faking it. Ever. She can’t turn it on and off. She just feels with people; it’s obvious in her eyes and her voice. It’s real.

Her Jesus-style empathy is so powerful, I’ve seen people unclench their whole bodies and personalities in just a few minutes. I’ve even seen people take a little step toward the Jesus she points to in her tears and her cheers.

I’m not as good at mourning with the mourners and partying with the happy people, but I’m learning. It’s how the Jesus people walk.

Think: Does seeing someone humiliated strike you more often as funny or as painful? Does watching someone win make you feel more jealous or excited for them? What’s in the way of your ability to rejoice and mourn with others?

Pray: Ask God to help you to rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn.

Do: Notice the Christians in your world this week who are good at feeling with those around them.