Sympathize With One Another

Posted: November 13, 2009 in Ministry, Sanctification

the-good-samaritan21Some of the most meaningful moments in my life have come when others have shown me sympathy or compassion. When others have gone out of their way to meet me where I’m at and help me with my present needs, my heart has been impacted  in many ways. In fact, one of the marks of a true Christian is treating others feelings and situations as more important than their own.

Galatians 6:2 says, “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ,” and Romans 12:15 says, “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” In essence Paul is saying in these two passages that loving someone means sympathizing with them in many different ways. So, the Christian is called to holistically love others by putting others needs above their own, by treating others as you would treat yourself (see the Parable of the Good Samaritan [Lk. 10:25-37]).

Showing compassion and mercy is not easy, it is actually very counter intuitive. But by God’s grace let’s strive to be people of sympathy, mercy, and love as we are conformed more and more to the image of Christ.

Below is John Calvin’s Commentary on Romans 12:15 (verse is above), I thought it was good and helpful:

A general truth is in the third place laid down, — that the faithful, regarding each other with mutual affection, are to consider the condition of others as their own. He first specifies two particular things, — That they were to “rejoice with the joyful, and to weep with the weeping.” For such is the nature of true love, that one prefers to weep with his brother, rather than to look at a distance on his grief, and to live in pleasure or ease. What is meant then is, — that we, as much as possible, ought to sympathize with one another, and that, whatever our lot may be, each should transfer to himself the feeling of another, whether of grief in adversity, or of joy in prosperity. And, doubtless, not to regard with joy the happiness of a brother is envy; and not to grieve for his misfortunes is inhumanity. Let there be such a sympathy among us as may at the same time adapt us to all kinds of feelings.”

-John Calvin, Commentary on Romans

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