DSCN1423Refugees face dilemmas on a daily basis that most of us only have nightmares about.

Refugee status is usually a long term status, it usually comes after having witnessed some gruesome acts of violence and/or having sustained physical and mental injury. It breaks up families, it destroys vision and it is fueled by forces beyond the control of the individual refugee.

There is a drastic difference between Empathy and Sympathy.

In this short video Dr Brené Brown describes the differences very well. 

As believers we need to get good at empathy. Empathy is described as an instruction, the great law of the New Testament in these simple words: "Love your neighbor as yourself".

Empathy requires listening, not to formulate a response, but listening to feel what the speaker is feeling. We have been trained to form opinions, defences and responses while we listen. We have to unlearn that if we want to love biblically. We have to become good at suspending our judgement for the sake of feeling what the other person is feeling. 

At Lazarus' tomb in John 11 there were a lot of responses that Jesus could have had:

  • "I was busy, I couldn't come."
  • "At least you still have your sister."
  • "You should have gotten him to a doctor earlier."
  • "Hs death is a result of sin in the world."

Instead Jesus simply wept. Because He felt for them, he had empathy.
The response of the 3rd party observers is critical to see: (v36) "So the Jews were saying, "See how He loved him!"…"

If those outside the church don't see how much we love each other, then what would convince them to question their own faith.

In this video Dr Brown ends off by saying, "rarely if ever does a response make things better, what makes things better is a connection." How very very true.

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3 part Gifts of The Spirit series from Nov / Dec 2014 is ready for streaming or download:

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On Wednesday December 3rd we had Orca's right outside the offices! What a wonderful experience.

I took some video to share:

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Really exciting to see the very first meeting of Firebrand Church - October 5th 2014.

Lot's of new friends and lots of good fellowship time. We're really looking forward to next Sunday and to what God wants to do in Gig Harbor.

meeting 1 pano

 

 

 

 

 

coffee time   worship practice    message