How many of us have found ourselves in a position where we really need to talk to someone and all we get is somebody that can’t wait for you to finish, so that they can go on with their business? Sometimes you get an “I will be praying for you,” but you already know that, that person will not even be thinking about you as soon as the conversation is over. Others shout and tell you, “All you need is God,” or “All the answers you need are in the Bible; read it!” Others actually take the time to pray for you and that is as far as their service to you goes. You go to church, you hear a good sermon, but then you go back home and not only do the issues remain there, but you still find yourself without the tangible and practical tools to deal with the problem.
Empathy is defined as, “The ability to identify with and understand somebody else’s feelings or difficulties.” Empathy is also defined as, “The capacity to feel another person’s experience,” (Anger Management for the Twenty First Century by PhD Anthony Fiore and PhD Ari Novick). Empathy, my friends, is a deep emotional connection to what others are going through. You may say, “Well Angel that is just another secular approach.” Let me answer that statement by quoting Romans 12:15:
“Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.”
Many of us envy those that rejoice and don’t want to be bothered with those that weep (Too much drama!). James 5:16 remind us to “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed…” Do you ever wonder why healing is not taking place in the majority of our churches in America? Perhaps we are not confessing our issues, our sins and our problems to one another. Without that confession there is no healing! It is that simple! So the real question here is, why are we not confessing our issues, our sins and our problems to one another? Because there is no empathy. Why add to our pain by talking to someone that does not care about what we are going through?
This is the reason why counseling is becoming so popular. More and more, people are realizing that therapy is not only for crazy people, but therapy is helping “normal” folk deal with their issues. It is in therapy that many find that one-on-one attention and are not only finding empathy, but also practical and effective ways to deal with their challenges. Now, I don’t deny the power of God to resolve any issue in a moment; however, many times things are not resolved in a moment. I believe that the reason for that is that God does not want us to become spiritually lazy. God encourages us in His Word to “Work out our own salvation.” (Philippians 2:12) Yes, there is a place for us to do our part and there is a place for us to help one another. There are issues that can be resolved within a sermon, others that can be resolved with a word of encouragement and/or a prayer; others with a sound Biblical advice. There are however, others that need to go through a therapeutic process. It is not a coincidence that Dr. Phil is so popular! People have issues and they are looking for help. I encourage you today to look for help; this city is filled with many extraordinary therapist that are ready to give you an atmosphere of empathy as well as the wisdom that you need to help you resolve, be set free, or to better cope with issues that are outside of your control. My respect, love and admiration to the therapist in our beautiful River City… Keep up the good work, we need you!