My brother will sometimes email me motorcycle accidents or some other extraordinary event caught on film from different parts of the world. They are sometimes dramatic in nature, but what is often more surprising than the event, is after the event. Droves of people walk past someone bleeding to death in the street with frustration that they are even in their path. Intentional overlook as a fight continues, one man kicks another in his lifeless face repeatedly after he has been knocked out. Multiple scenes like this have me asking the question, “How, how can onlookers ignore such travesties and not care?” Our country has its share of despicable acts, noted most recently with the “knockout game”. However, I believe most Americans would be in an uproar over some of the actions by those in other countries if they had taken place here. I believe we are still a Christian nation, or at least the values and empathy of a Christian nation still linger. So what about these other countries, why the lack of empathy?
I believe the answer was uttered on a Wednesday night church service by visitor T.F. Tenney, when he said, “Empathy… I can’t preach it, and I can’t teach it – it’s only got from exposure to Him.” Empathy, like all great traits, is God-given and will be enriched as you spend more time with God. Your heart will grieve a little with every addict or homeless person you see. You will begin to learn to apologize when necessary, and the more you apologize, the easier it becomes. Empathy will ensure that if someone is humble enough to apologize to you, you are big enough not to prolong accepting it. Jesus simply said, “Do to others as you would like them to do to you” (Luke 6:31). Empathy is your ability to experience compassion and one thing is for sure: the amount of compassion you have in your life is a direct indicator of how much you have allowed God to be in your life.
So the answer to yet another question for countries and individuals alike still seems to be the same… Jesus.