Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.
Our culture is full of judgment, condemnation, criticism, and a host of other negative responses to people’s realities. In Romans 12, Paul is encouraging us to learn something from the struggles of those around us. When we practice empathy, we seek to understand another person’s experiences and emotions from their perspective.
Why don’t we try to spend 10 minutes a day trying to put ourselves “in someone else’s shoes?” Think about those who come to our church for food on Tuesdays because of a lack of finances. Consider your neighbor who may be battling cancer or grieving a loss. Or watch the news and try to relate to someone who is going through a traumatic time in his or her life.
We live in a broken world and everyone is dealing with something. When you see the pain and suffering that people go through, don’t run the other way! Take the time to learn what it must be like to suffer in that way and choose to be present with them. Paul challenges us to “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn” (Romans 12:15).
Notice someone today, who needs some empathy and encouragement. Reach out!