Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Is Empathy Enough

As I am preparing for teaching and coaching missionally minded people, I can't get a story Jesus told out of my mind. Jesus is telling those around Him that there will be a time coming where we will give account for our relationship with Him. He tells us that he will separate us from those who think they are following Him and those who actually are following Him. If we truly follow Him it will result in living as he lived. The passage reminds us that the way we view those in our society who are struggle is directly tied to our treatment and attitude toward Jesus...the question that keeps coming to mind is how do we treat them?

37 ... 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?' 40 And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.' Matthew 25

We as Christians are great at empathizing, feeling bad, for them. We may even pray for them or give our money to care for them. This story cuts straight to the heart of "missional living".

It tells us we have the personal responsibility to feed them, clothe them, house them, care for them when they are sick. When was the last time you did something to go beyond just empathizing for them. Other passages talk about the early church using everything at their disposal including personal items in order to make sure that everyone was taken care of.

Just recently I have come across some people who are taking this passage literally and doing something about it. Let me tell there story.


Most of the world lives on two dollars or less a day. The church has decided to live as most of the world for two weeks. They are eating for two dollars a day. Rather than just empathizing, they are buying and taking groceries to needy families that they know with the extra money they saved from the week.

Check out what this guy is doing in Ohio.

I want to challenge you. What are you doing to live out Jesus teaching. Do you find yourself empathizing? Let me challenge you to do more than just empathize. Get out and live it.

1 comment: