Faithlife Sermons

Empathy

Notes & Transcripts

Empathy

Practice Empathy; Forgive; Forgiveness; Difficult People; EGR; Compassion; Hardness; Inflexible;

An effective tool for forgiving others is empathy, and empathy comes when we pause long enough to look at others through the lens of their own experience. . . .

Writer F. W. Boreham once lost patience with a difficult man named Crittingden, who had spoken many critical words.  Boreham wrote a flaming letter designed to rebuke the complainer.  He walked to the mailbox to post the letter.  Since it was a lovely night for a walk, he passed the mailbox without dropping the letter in, thinking he’d mail it on the way back.  Further on he met a friend who said, “Poor old Crittingden is dead.”

Boreham was shocked.  “Is he, indeed?  When did this happen?”

“Oh, he died suddenly early this afternoon.  It’s really for the best, you know.  He’s had a hard time.  You know all about it, I suppose?”

“No, I don’t.”

“Oh, I thought everybody knew.  He only had two children, a son and a daughter.  The son was killed soon after his wife dies, and the daughter lost her mind and is in the asylum.  Poor old Crittingden never got over it.  It soured him.”

Boreham returned to his fireside that night, jumbled and ashamed.  He tore the letter into small fragments and burned them one by one.  And as he knelt before the blaze, he prayed that, in days to come, he might find grace to deal gently and lovingly with difficult people. . . .


David Jeremiah, Signs of Life, p. 239

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