A Call for Empathy

Oh my. I wanted my next blog to be an examination of obedience to God in the wilderness, but I feel there is a much more pressing issue at hand.

It’s been building over the past few years in American Christianity throughout Black Lives Matter, women’s rights, the impending wall between the U.S. and Mexico, and now this ban on specific refugees.

Now, mind you, this isn’t a call for political action. This isn’t meant to be a guilt trip either. However, it is meant to address many of the polarizing things I read on social media. It is a call to the heart more so than the mind.

I see a nation where Christians pledge allegiance to blue or red, a donkey or an elephant, before Christ. Christ was a lover of people and so Christ caused incredible division because he was about bringing people into relationship with God. He had no tolerance for those who stood in the way of that feat.

We see him boldly show his anger at the money-changers in the temple and the Pharisees for that very reason. Yet, we see him emerge as the most loving and compassionate individual as he coupled mercy and truth to the woman caught in adultery and the woman with the alabaster jar. We see that he is a God that stoops down to those who are downcast, regardless of their status.

I want to make it clear, that you have every right to fall on whichever side of the party lines that you believe in (but please choose for a reason other than your parents propaganda). Constitutionally, you even have a right to support and defend the Executive Order put in place by Mr. Trump or go out and protest all you want. But as a Christian, you do not have a biblical right to lack empathy.

Romans 5:8

but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

1 John 3:16

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.

Philippians 2:3

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.

Matthew 25:35-36

For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’

Yes, I know that there are terrorists in those countries. I also know the there are families–women and children whose greatest desire is safety and hope for a future.

I know that the other party disagrees with what you find fundamentally right, but I know people in that other party that love just as deeply as you do.

All I’m asking is that when these controversial topics arise, my Christian friends would immerse themselves in the gray area and choose to empathize first before supporting one political viewpoint. That they would seek unity more fervently than division. Dig into the Word of God to find how you might respond. Think of how you can show Christ and try to bridge the gaps in the midst of such a polarizing time in our country’s history.

Also, please please realize that just because it doesn’t directly affect you,  doesn’t mean that your words can’t be keeping others from seeing Christ through you. I hope that the first words on my tongue are “I hear your distress and I commit to love you there.

I imagine we all could be a bit better at this,  Christian or not, myself included.

Let us choose the way of empathy, arguably the way of Christ.

-A World Changer

Please join me in feeding Syrian Refugees.

We human beings don’t realize how great God is. He has given us an extraordinary brain and a sensitive loving heart. He has blessed us with two lips to talk and express our feelings, two eyes which see a world of colours and beauty, two feet which walk on the road of life, two hands to work for us, and two ears to hear the words of love. -Malala Yousafzai (human rights activist and Muslim refugee).

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