Empathy is the “ability to understand and share the feelings of another.” For many people, we assume this is the same as sympathy, but it truly isn’t. In church, I see people have sympathy for the homeless, the widowed, the orphaned, the mentally ill, the physically injured, the locked up, the abused, and the addicted.
Sympathy is “we’ll pray for you” and then by the time you walk out the church doors you’ve forgotten that commitment. Empathy is being willing to drive that person home, pray for them when they leave, showing up at the homeless shelter to give them supplies, and sit to authentically listen to them weep over their fears and losses six months or a year after the event has happened.[Read more…] about The Difference Between Empathy And Sympathy [Video]