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Don't Be That Guy Week 2

Title: Empathy is Essential

1 John 4:7.  - “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.  Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.”

Shaunacy Ferro - "If you need an American to do something, don't mention the common good, team work or caring for others.  A new study in psychological science this month found that trying to get Americans to think and act interdependently failed-and may have even decreased motivation.”  

Video Clip - 2:37 - Brene Brown on Empathy -

Empathy is choosing to listen to people and choosing to feel with people.  

Matthew 5:43-47 (MSG)

43-47 “You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.

“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy.  But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven… If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that?  Even corrupt tax collectors do that much.”

Colossians 3:12-14 (MSG)

12-14 'So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it."

We are most empathetic when we:

  1. Choose to listen.  

Becoming A Better Listener:

  1. Listen as an ally
  2. Be present
  3. Reflect back

We are most empathetic when we:

2.Choose to feel

Brene Brown - “Empathy is feeling with people… rarely can a response make something better, what makes something better is connection.”  

Hebrews 4:15 (NIV)

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet he did not sin.”  

Colossians 3:12

“so, chosen by God for this new life of love.”

Colossians 1:21-23 (MSG)

21-23 You yourselves are a case study of what he does. At one time you all had your backs turned to God, thinking rebellious thoughts of him, giving him trouble every chance you got. But now, by giving himself completely at the Cross, actually dying for you, Christ brought you over to God’s side and put your lives together, whole and holy in his presence. You don’t walk away from a gift like that! You stay grounded and steady in that bond of trust, constantly tuned in to the Message, careful not to be distracted or diverted. There is no other Message—just this one. Every creature under heaven gets this same Message. I, Paul, am a messenger of this Message.

Reflection Questions

  1. Who is it hardest for you to empathize with?  Who stirs up your frustration or anger the most?  
  2. Spend a few minutes in prayer asking God for clarity of who that person may be in your life.
  3. What steps could you take to truly listen to and feel with that person?  What would happen if you were to do that this week?
  4. Take a few more moments to pray asking God for strength to show empathy and love towards that person.