This story shows us that God has empathy for His children. As Christians, we are to have the same compassion—the same empathy toward those whom we encounter.
Empathy is defined as: "The ability to understand and share the feelings of others."
Continuing the ministry of Jesus is what we're called to as Christians. God could have sovereignly chosen to have Jesus' life continue (in human form) until today, but had He done this, Jesus wouldn't have been able to meet every single need—of every single person—throughout the entire world. So He chose us to carry on this same ministry of Jesus! In Luke 10:19, Jesus bestows us with power over satan: "Behold, I have given you authority over ALL the power of the enemy…", and in Mark 16, He says, "These miraculous signs will accompany those who believe in Me: They will cast out demons in My name…(and) be able to place their hands on the sick, and they will be healed."
So with this type of authority and power, we are fully-equipped to meet the needs of others. But we'll never get to exercise these supernatural abilities unless we allow empathy to show us that there is a need.
Ephesians 5:21 tells us to simply, "Honor Christ and put others first." And Philippians 2:3-5 says to, “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. You must have the same attitude that Jesus had.” If we keep these Christ-like principles in mind, empathy will become like second nature to us and putting ourselves in another's position will simply be a reflex.
Here are 7 Tips to help you Put Yourself in Another's Position:
1. Notice others.
2. Engage them.
3. Listen intently.
4. Pray silently as they talk.
5. Ask the Holy Spirit for discernment.
6. Be mindful of your body language.
7. Grieve with them.
The man walking down the street…the woman pumping gas into the car next to you…the waiter who takes your order. Everyone has a story. Everyone has experienced hardships, betrayal, hurts and traumas. If we keep this in mind with everyone whom we encounter, we begin to understand more about the heart of Christ and continue the ministry He began!