Monday, December 3, 2018

Pastor's Ponderings, December 3, 2018

Let Us Understand Other’s Feelings

Empathy--Mary T. Lathrap in 1895 wrote a poem entitled, “Judge Softly”.  The first paragraph reads, Pray, don’t find fault with the man that limps, or stumbles along the road. Unless you have worn the moccasins he wears, or stumbled beneath the same load. We live in a world that puts its personal needs above others.  People who are experiencing homelessness, physical sickness or mental health disease need not attempt to enter some of our safe homes. Those who are hungry and thirsty should go elsewhere. Or perhaps they are simply a check that we can write and feel we have accomplished all that is required. 

Many of us judge others without understanding how they got to where they are. We attribute other’s misfortune to poor decisions, but our success to our hard work and self-sacrifice.  We do not consider how blessed we are because God protected us from that one insane predator, that one spiked drink, that deadly party, those powerful addictive drugs or that malevolent teacher/preacher/ employer/spouse or relative.

We should exhibit a Godly concern for others. Not merely with the attitude of “There but for the grace of God go I," but Lord what would you have me do concerning this person that you have put in my path?  Would You have me to open my home, pray, share a Christian pamphlet, visit, talk with, smile, share a few dollars, or even acknowledge their existence?  

If Jesus were fleeing from a painful situation, would you tell Him to wait outside until you found it convenient to let Him in? In the Bible, Jesus will proclaim to the nations before Him that how they treated the outcast, they did it unto Him (Matthew 25:32-40).  

This week let us empathize with people in challenging situations. He accepted us and continues to accept us despite our many faults. Let us be concerned about others and try to understand their experience.

Matthew 25:32-40
New International Version (NIV)
32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
34“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 
35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 
36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 
38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 
39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?
40“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

No comments: