IS IT EMPATHY OR SYMPATHY…OR BOTH? YES
Think of it this way . . .
How many times have we all seen someone in a predicament and needing help, and we—with a tinge of guilt—came up with an excuse not to get involved and go on about our business? Jesus tells us, “When you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help Me.” Ouch! From Obadiah, “You should not have laughed at your brother’s trouble.” (v 12, ERV)
This from Roosevelt: “Every expansion of civilization makes for peace.”
Then I thought of this from Jon Bon Jovi: “Find your good and do it.” If it takes
a multiple of positives to make up for just one negative, then those of us who truly care (and more or less try to live by the ‘Golden Rule’), need to get “high behind” doing a whole lot of good stuff (that means helping others when we can).
I realize the risks in our exercising kindness in this big, bad, busy world. In this day-and-age, perhaps due in part to large numbers of us living so close together pushing, shoving and getting on one another’s nerves (not to mention the outlawing of God in so much of our lives), it’s no wonder we’re impatient, short-tempered and suspicious of one another (especially strangers).
But it still stands, “Pure and genuine religion to God means caring for others in their distress and not letting the world corrupt you.” (Js 1:27) So don’t copy the behavior and customs of the world, (see Rom 12:2) just try to maintain your sweet, caring attitude and serve others as you sensibly and safely can.
My family often described my mother as one “who never met a stranger.” It seemed to work well for her. Still, precautions may be in order according to each individual circumstance. When an opportunity to help someone in a bind presents itself, think before you leap. Be aware of your surroundings. If you have doubts, there may be a wiser way to handle it (such as, ladies, using your cell phone to get someone else to assist).
“Lord, You were a servant; make me one, too.”