Monday, September 5, 2011

Being Tenderhearted ... ways to live the golden rule!

Ephesians 4:32 and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. 
2 Corinthians 1:3 & 4 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 

This verse in 2 Corinthians means a lot to me.  In our lives, we have all experienced different trials and God has comforted us.  Because we have been through those tribulations, we are able to better comfort someone else who is going through a similar circumstance.  I know what it’s like to be a preacher’s kid.  It wasn’t always easy!  I am always willing to love on and empathize with preacher’s children and treat them the way I wish that I had been treated.  My husband has lost a parent, and when someone has lost a parent, especially someone young, he can offer such empathy and comfort to them that I can’t.  A good friend lost her first baby just a few weeks before he was to be born.  God has blessed her with 6 children, but yet she can offer such love and support to those who have lost a child.  That comfort came from God; He gave it to us and expects us to share it with others.  Remember we are not a storage system, but an irrigation system!

SO LONG as you can sweeten another's pain, life is not in vain," wrote Helen Keller.

How can we show empathy? 

Listen. By listening carefully we learn what problems others face. And the better we listen, the more likely they are to open up their hearts and reveal their feelings.
Observe. Not everyone will openly tell us how they feel or what they are going through. A keen observer, however, will notice when a fellow Christian seems depressed, when a teenager becomes withdrawn, or when a zealous minister loses his enthusiasm.
Use your imagination.  Sometimes we just need to think – how would I feel if I were in that situation, or what might I need if that was happening to me?

The story is told of a little girl getting off the school bus with her good friend.  Her mother saw her through the window as she was standing at the kitchen sink, and expected her daughter to come running up the walk in just a few minutes.  However, after several minutes her child did not come up the walkway and the mother began to worry.  As she was going out the front door, her small daughter came running up the walkway.
What took you so long, Emma?  Her mother asked, I was beginning to worry about you.
Well, said the daughter, Samantha was having a problem and I really had to help her with it.
How did you help her? Her mother asked.
I just sat down and helped her cry, said the precious little girl.
Have you ever just sat down and helped someone cry? 

Be tenderhearted. 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing this ... I enjoyed reading it. You've covered a topic that has special meaning to me right now. Thanks so much!