In the book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey explains that empathy is key to effectiveness. He encourages the reader: “seek first to understand, then to be understood.” Wouldn’t it be great if as Christians we were known by our empathy?
He offers us comfort so that we may comfort others.
“God is our… source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort He has given us.” — 2 Corinthians 1:3–4
Being empathetic with others can promote trust and lead to more open and honest relationships.
You may have experienced this before — Think about the a time you were at a roadblock in your life and you shared your challenge with a friend. Was it the friend who told you the 101 ways they would have done it differently, or the friend that listened and validated your feelings that actually helped you overcome the challenge? Next time you face a challenge you’ll want to turn to the person who helped you navigate the problem using empathy.
Choosing empathy in your friendships creates an opportunity for lasting connections. You can practice it by allowing time for active listening, imagining yourself in another persons shoes, and allowing them to share their pain.
Imagine if we as Christians collectively learnt the art of empathy.
Could we see less isolation, depression reduce and connectedness rise? Could simple acts of empathy see revival in our communities? Empathy is a choice we can all make.
When it comes to sharing your faith, empathy is a great tool. When you understand others it opens the door for them to be curious and inquire about your life and faith in Jesus. Are you ready to practice the art of empathy?
About the Author: yesHEis provides various resources to help share your faith in relatable ways.