October 10, 2018

DAY TEN - 31 Days of Becoming Queen of Giving the Benefit of the Doubt


Empathy & Sympathy...

Once we begin to take action and stop ascribing intent... when we are able to take that negative storyline and consider a positive one in its' place... extending grace is the natural result.

When we give the benefit of the doubt, often times it is because we have tapped into empathy and/or sympathy - even if the circumstance has not yet been explained.

For many who are empaths or extremely sympathetic, this culture we are in is oh so draining and exhausting! It's getting easier to unplug and disconnect and not be so present or gracious in giving empathy or sympathy. It costs us so much

But this is not a good thing, because not giving it away costs us so much more!

We're in need of an increase in giving empathy and sympathy!

This world can feel upside down and like it's spinning out of control! It's easy to think and feel like it's never been this bad before... but we know it has.  

We know history - inside and outside of the Bible - proves that as bad as things may be, sadly they've looked this way before. 

Many say this world is just breaking down and getting worse,
but I believe that as hard as things may be right now -either personally or nationally or globally- that God is redeeming and healing and revealing and unveiling...

I don't credit that downfall to Him. (That's on us, the human race... and on the real, true enemy of our souls who is chained, but running around like he owns this thing!

I refuse to give 'credit' where 'credit' isn't due!

However, we know Jesus Himself said that we would face trials and tribulations... all kinds of darkness and brokenness... but He also reminded us that He has overcome the world.

Jesus exuded empathy and sympathy (to the point of blood) and His spirit dwells in us. Instead of hardening our hearts or turning away from the pain that is all around us, let's practice healthy boundaries while still engaging with the hurt and broken among us... let's still tap into extending sympathy and empathy!

Let's define Empathy and Sympathy...

Webster's defines Empathy like this:

1 : the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner.
...and they define Sympathy like this:
1a : an affinity, association, or relationship between persons or things wherein whatever affects one similarly affects the other
b : mutual or parallel susceptibility or a condition brought about by it
c : unity or harmony in action or effect
2a : inclination to think or feel alike : emotional or intellectual accord
So, basically, the difference is this:

To be SYMPATHETIC is to feel sorry for
or be sad with someone because of what
they may be going through,
whereas to be EMPATHETIC is to feel or imagine 
the fullness of emotions that someone is experiencing 
in the midst of sadness or whatever
they may be going through.

See? Similar... but not the same!

And it's not always sadness... empaths can pick up on the highs as well as the lows!

Because I am a feeler and prophetic and uber discerning... 
I easily identify myself as an Empath.

The call to be sympathetic goes out to everyone (and yes--we are lacking this in our society right now.)

We allow lines to divide us, and we no longer are willing to sympathize with anyone who is not on our 'side'.  

This makes it nearly impossible to cross the divide and see from a different perspective or hear an opposing view.

We tend to demonize the person rather than simply disagreeing with them yet remain able to sympathize, having heard their heart as they told their side of the story.

We see this all the time in politics.  I refuse to go there in this series but I'm sure we all have family and (hopefully!) friends with whom we disagree when it comes to political or social beliefs.  

The lack of sympathy is creating a wider separation and it seems like the old option of Agreeing to Disagree is seldom called upon.

We can sympathize with someone while still not agreeing with them, or even believing that they are right.

One of the most powerful tools I have been taught came through training for the Sozo ministry, and that is to honor what FEELS true to the person, even if it is, in fact, not true.

Let me explain.  

Sozo is an inner healing prayer ministry and we deal often with childhood trauma or with identity issues formed when the person was young. 

Many of us have memories from our childhood and while the facts may not line up -- what we remember feels true to us! Things may not be true due to our limited (child-like) perspective of all that was surrounding the situation or circumstance at the time, but we honor what feels true while praying into what IS true.

Sympathy helps us to do this.

So, Sympathy is something we should all be intentional about being able to give. Empathy, however, is not something that I believe all people are called or gifted at tapping into. 

As I said in the beginning if you are an empath... well, you know full well that this world can be overwhelming and can leave you feeling weary, right?  

And yet... we know what the Word says about that...

"Make no mistake about it, God will never be mocked! For what you plant will always be the very thing you harvest. The harvest you reap reveals the seed that was planted. If you plant the corrupt seeds of self-life into this natural realm, you can expect to experience a harvest of corruption. If you plant the good seeds of Spirit-life you will reap the beautiful fruits that grow from the everlasting life of the Spirit.

And don’t allow yourselves to be weary or disheartened in planting good seeds, for the season of reaping the wonderful harvest you’ve planted is coming! Take advantage of every opportunity to be a blessing to others, especially to our brothers and sisters in the family of faith!" Galatians 6:7-9 TPT
and there is also this:
"Now, this is the goal: to live in harmony with one another and demonstrate affectionate love, sympathy, and kindness toward other believers. Let humility describe who you are as you dearly love one another." 1 Peter 3:8 TPT            

I pray empathy and sympathy are on the rise... for we are all in desperate need of some!

Come back tomorrow where we'll talk about how Perspective is such a Game Changer!

Today is Day Ten of 31 Days of Becoming Queen of Giving the Benefit of the Doubt! If you missed the kick-off and official 'Homepage' for this series, you can go HERE and catch up! You will find links for each days' postings, added daily throughout the month. If you'd prefer to have them delivered right to you, I invite you to enter your email address to the right ('Subscribe Here') and subscribe to the blog. That way, once a week, each post is delivered to your inbox in a single email over the weekend and you'll be sure not to miss a thing!


  1. Such a good study here. I have been involved in a Healing Prayer ministry that is very similar to Sozo. There is so much healing when you can begin to see where Jesus was all along in the painful memories. His presence and truth can transform it all. Great share.

    1. Yes... Jesus is always near... He can't help Himself! That's how Love is!

  2. Such great words to ponder! Thank you for sharing this difference in Sympathy and Empathy!

    1. Thanks so much for reading along, Barbara! Yes - I think we often think they are the same thing but as I pointed out, one (Sympathy) I think we are all called to extend, while the other is maybe more of a gift given (although sometimes it doesn't FEEL like a gift!) to some, not all.

  3. Empath here too. It's important to find balance. I can so easily be drained when I overdo it. I love what you said about giving it away.

    1. Balance is key... temporary withdrawing to refuel! ;) This is why we have to be intentional in giving it out... otherwise we may retreat and forget to ever go outside again! LOL!


Thanks so much for stopping by! I always love to hear your thoughts! Remember to: Speak Life - Be Love - Shine On!

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