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2221 Stand in others’ shoes

As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more. Psalm 103:15-16 ESV

As Jesus had compassion on the people of Jerusalem because he knew their hearts, so we also can have compassion on people – because we know people! The definition of empathy – a modern word, but a truly biblical principle – is to get into another’s shoes. The best example of empathy is Jesus Christ, of course, who literally came to walk in our shoes. No-one understood man better than he did – because he was a man! If we put ourselves in others’ shoes – to understand their world and their thinking, to know the reasons why they do what they do – we will develop compassion for them. To understand is to love! How do we develop empathy? Well, by showing interest, by asking questions, by trying to understand! In the process we develop a feeling of co-humanity. We come to realize we’re very much the same – that we need each other and we all together need God.

Lord Jesus, thank you that you came to stand in my shoes – that you experienced what I experience. Give me more empathy for others. Amen.

Live empathically!

These devotions are part of a series on discipleship. Follow the whole series!

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