“Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.” – Romans 12:15
As a part of Christian life, we’re called on by God to practice empathy. That is to say, the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. As Paul wrote, we mourn with them that mourn and rejoice with them that rejoice.
When one of our friends mourns, we’re to mourn with them. We ought not even necessarily try to fix it, to make them happy or correct them our of their mourning, but to just mourn with them. Understanding this as a pastor helps us minister more effectively.
Also, we’re to rejoice with them that rejoice. In short, we should be happy, with others, in their successes and victories (provided that victory is wholesome). Sometimes cynicism, control issues, or jealousy (which is as cruel as the grave) causes folks to scowl at good news, but we really just need to celebrate with those who have a reason to be happy.
Let us seek to foster a biblical empathy as we minister to those around us.
Originally published January 2020