2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3 If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves.
Tough morning to write. I’m not sure why. Maybe because I’ve got a cold and my stomach is in knots, I do know that I am struggling. I’ve gotta do it though because there are followers out there that seem to be counting on it and I’m not going to let them down.
I had one instance yesterday that pulled at my “heart strings”. It was an email that I received from a stranger, but a follower, and in it, she asked the following question: “If I don’t feel like I am worthy to go to Heaven, and I don’t want to go to Hell; can’t I just stop existing altogether?”. Great (but disheartening) question! Of course, I can’t answer it, however, I can relate.
I have experience with those same thoughts. I recall laying in a hospital bed in a detox facility for hours praying to God that my heart would just stop beating. I purposely slowed my breathing as slow as I could and “meditated” on my heart rhythm wishing it would stop. When I gave up on that plan, I changed it up to thinking “I’ll just not eat for a week or so, that will do the trick!” I thought that just maybe there is a chance that I would go to heaven, so I asked for forgiveness just in case but had no confidence that I would get my wishes. How could I?
I think we both were lacking Hope. Big word; and not where I am going with this post.
I’m going to suggest that acting on Empathy breeds hope and therefore a purpose to exist! In fact, most of my previous posts touch on empathy in one way or another and the Bible touches on synonymous words throughout. I am going to confidently say that empathy is the theme.
2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. (Philippians 2:2-4)
8 Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. (1 Peter 3:8)
A week ago, as I was selfishly chasing the goal of getting the most views and the most followers, I accepted a follower who is also a blogger. This particular blogger suffers from true diagnosed severe mental disorders. Once I accepted, I started to get numerous notifications of their posts and emails as well. Honestly – I was annoyed! I came very close to blocking that person. I couldn’t do it. I had to put myself in their shoes. So I actually read what they were writing and my heart sunk. Reading between the lines, they are struggling (and not with just an upset stomach and a cold). Now I read every one of their posts. Most I can’t understand at all, but my raw sympathy is present and I wish they only had my struggles.
35 Jesus wept.
My lengthy blog post can be summed up by the shortest verse in the Bible. Two words.
Among other things, Jesus wept because He felt compassion for Lazarus’s grieving sisters (Mary and Martha) and their loss. He knew he was going to raise Lazarus from the dead, but He was troubled by their grief.
There is power in empathy. At a minimum, it may serve us well to find out that we aren’t alone in our struggles. At its grandest, we can take comfort in knowing that in practice it fulfills, in part, the greatest commandment!
14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Galatians 5:14)
We’ve got work to do: great work, great purpose – and it will keep me sober today! I don’t want my heart to stop any longer and I don’t want my dear blog follower to suffer.
Thanks for reading. Comments are welcome! Have a blessed Tuesday!
Today’s verse to “chew on”:
24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.