Empathy for the Struggling

There have been times in my life, when I have struggled with trials, trauma and grief. In the depths of those struggles, I have often felt misunderstood and alone. At those times I needed someone to listen and empathize with me. Someone to walk with me through the trial and not judge me.

Job faces this type of situation as he goes through trial after trial. His friends show up, not to empathize, but to judge him, grilling him to confess what he did wrong to bring such calamity on himself. This prompts him to tell his friends, “you are miserable comforters, all of you! Will your long-winded speeches never end? What ails you that you keep on arguing (Job 16:33, NIV)?” When they still confronted him, he responded, “How long will you torment me and crush me with words? Ten times now you have reproached me; shamelessly you attack me (19:2-3).”

Jesus said, “He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous (Matthew 5:45).” Our good deeds do not guarantee us a good life. Likewise, sinful people can also prosper in this life. When trials strike those we know, what is more welcomed is a listening ear — someone to sit with them and help them through the trial. We cannot always understand why bad things happen, but we can bring empathy to those going through it.

Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. – Matthew 7:1-2 (NASB)

7 thoughts on “Empathy for the Struggling

  1. I often face this situation as a teacher. It’s easy to judge my students by their behavior, but the situation is often more complicated. At the end of the day it’s most important that I set the right tone with the children, that I provide a good example.

    “Young people need role models, not critics.” John Wooden

    As you say, “Blessings.”

    🙏May the Lord give you strength when you are unfairly judged.

    1. So true. Often the behavior is indicative of something else going on in their life. I am so appreciative of the work teachers do in the classroom. It’s a challenging environment. Thank you for being a good role model for them and giving them a glimpse of the Kingdom of God. Blessings.

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