Your friend needs empathy not sympathy

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Look around there is pain everywhere. When your friend is going through a crisis, they need you to help carry the load and lessen the pain.

Sharing pain is not about sympathy. Sympathy says, “I’m sorry you hurt.” Most people can do without your sympathy. On the other hand, empathy says, “I hurt with you.” Empathy is up close and engaging. Sympathy can watch from a distance.

Loving someone hurting is showing them compassion. Compassion says, “What can I do to help stop your pain.” Our greatest example of someone showing compassion is Jesus. He went so far as to go to the cross.  He was willing to die to stop sin’s pain. That’s compassion.

Romans 12:15 says, “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. It’s perfectly normal to cry with them when you are empathetic.

There are a lot of people right under your nose that need you. They don’t need advice. They don’t need, “It’s going to be OK.” They may just need you to be there. Sometimes they push away, just be there. Sometimes, they are not pleasant, just be there when they need you.

 

 

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