Helping a Hurting Friend: Help a Friend

Understanding the Times and Knowing What to Do

Living Free Every Day®

Today's Scripture
"Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn." Romans 12:15 NIV

Thoughts for Today
Are you trying to help someone with a problem? Developing certain qualities in your relationship will enable you to help your friend more effectively. We will be looking at some of those traits this week. One of these qualities is called empathy.

There is a difference between empathy and sympathy. With accurate empathy, we can correctly perceive the feelings of another person without being captured by that person's emotions. If we sympathize, we may actually feel what our friend feels, preventing us from being objective in a helping relationship since we are likely to be caught up in our hurting friend's emotions. The focus may become pity and prevent healing. Compassion and understanding assist the helper in perceiving the other person's feelings and experiences accurately.

Consider this …
The key to accurate empathy is understanding the pain while remaining in a neutral position. As a helper, set your goal to feel with the hurting person instead of feeling what the individual feels.

Even if you have never experienced the same hurts as your friend, with accurate empathy you can help. A helping relationship starts with the development of empathy.

Prayer
Father, I really want to help my hurting friend. And I'd like to develop stronger relationships with all my friends. Teach me to feel with them. In Jesus' name …


These thoughts were drawn from …



Understanding the Times and Knowing What to Do
by Dr. Jimmy Ray Lee. This book offers biblical strategies for ministry to our family and friends. Contemporary issues and needs faced by society are addressed with biblical principles that are timeless. Ideal for small group leaders and Sunday school teachers who want a better understanding of ministry in an addictive culture.








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    "Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Thank you so much for the message of forgiveness. Jesus Christ recommend us to forgive if we want to be forgiven. For us Rwandans, we are experiencing forgiveness and now we are free from the bondage of unforgiveness. When you forgive, even physically, you are released. I am telling you this because I have forgiven those who killed my parents and relatives. But, ask to be led by the Holy Spirit who will enable you to forgive those who sin against you."

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