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Sympathy and Empathy

by on December 18, 2014

Sympathy                                                          Empathy

I am sorry                                                          I care
Pity                                                                      Compassion
Discharge duty                                                   Relate to other person
Not attempt to understand                             Attempts to understand
Separates people                                               Builds trust
Recognize problem                                           Sharing burdens
Short-term expressions                                   Long-term assistance
Words                                                                 Silence
Shallow emotions                                              Deep emotions
Individual                                                          Community
Distant                                                                Intimate
Based on expectation of propriety                 Based on genuine love
From the mind                                                  From the heart
Sorrow for misfortune                                     Identify with heartache
Shows the “bright side”                                   Shares the loss
Feelings “for”                                                    Feeling “with”
Disconnected from others                               Connected to others

Sympathy without empathy takes people farther into their problems
Sympathy can reinforce the person’s wrong thinking
Healthy persons seek and respond to empathy
Unhealthy persons seek and respond to sympathy
Sympathy discharges responsibility
Empathy engages responsibly
Sympathy can be used to manipulate people
Empathy can help a person with whom you cannot sympathize –
You can be sad about someone’s abuse without sympathizing with their wrong choices
Sympathy and empathy are types of communication
Empathy allows you to feel the emotions of other people
Empathy calls you to identify with those who have had experiences similar to yours
Empathy calls you to investigate and attempt to understand the feelings of others
Empathy is the ability to connect your heart with the heart of another person

Jesus can and does empathize with us. He was tempted in all points as we are and yet He did not sin. He can empathize and he does. He has been here.

Turn to Him today. Allow Him to emphasize with you and your situations. He understands because He cares.

Then, you take His empathy for your life and pass it along to others so that we can be a community of persons who empathize with each other.

From → Christian Living

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