Saturday, June 4, 2011

Be Sympathetic

Hebrews 4: 15-16 "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are - yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in out time of need."

      I have been going through a difficult time. That is one reason the blog entries have been somewhat sporadic. There are days I don't want to write and there are others that I don't feel that I could come up with a positive or uplifting word to say. It has been hard.
     We all go through seasons of life where things are just not as they should be. During those times, we need someone who can come along side us and support us in our difficulty. I am not talking about condoning sin, or not holding someone accountable for a wrongdoing. I am simply talking about being there in the hard times.
     Recently, I confessed to someone that I had been having just such a time. I expected support and love and understanding and, instead, I felt a little like I got a sermon. Almost, a "man up and be more like Jesus" kind of spiel. In her own way, I think she was trying to hold me accountable for an action and give me a solution to my problem, but what I needed most at that moment was a friend.
    Imagine my relief, a few days later when I spoke to another woman in my church about the things I have been experiencing and she said, "I know exactly how you feel, I have been there. It will be my privilege to pray for you." And do you know, the next week, I felt so much better!
    In Ecclesiastes 3, Solomon tells us there is a time for everything. A time to embrace and a time to refrain (v5), a time to be silent and a time to speak (v7). We need to ask the Holy Spirit for discernment when interacting with those around us for which way we need to respond. We need to respond with His direction and in His time. We also need to think about what the other person is going through and put ourselves in their place.
     Jesus is sympathetic. He knows what we go through. He was human. And because He knows, He is able to extend grace and mercy to those who ask Him for it. As His hands and feet on earth, should we do anything less?

"Dear Jesus, Help me not to speak rashly or harshly or without thinking to those around me. Help me to respond to every encounter with You in mind. Help me to extend Your grace and Your  mercy to those I interact with daily. Help me to be sympathetic."

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