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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

How to Be More Like Jesus

If you're a people-person like I am, it's really hard to understand those who are not. It's especially hard when you know that the actions, attitudes and words of others are hurting others, but they don't have a clue.  Not that people-people don't hurt others - we often do, too.  The difference is that when a people-person hurts others' feelings, we know it.  We may not admit it, but we know it.  Non people-people have no clue that how they come across is hurting someone.  They probably don't even take the time to think about it.

Jesus was a people person, so if we are going to be more like Him, then we are going to have to become that way, as well, whether it's our nature or not.

The scripture I gave our children for this week is this passage:  “We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.” 1 John 2:3-6

Living as Jesus did is becoming more and more like Him each and every day.  Both people-people and non-people-people all have sin problems that need work.  Being more sympathetic to others is something we can all work on.  So how can we do that?

One study found that you can become a more sympathetic person in as little as two weeks simply by meditating on having compassion for someone in your life.  (via University of Wisconsin-Madison's Center for Investigating Healthy Minds).  That makes sense, doesn't it? By simply thinking about being sympathetic one can become more sympathetic?  Sure, it does!

So one way we can become more sympathetic is by THINKING OF OTHERS.

That's hard to do because most of the time we are selfish and only thinking of ourselves.  Our wants, our desires, our work, our schedules.  Who has time to think of others if our minds are consumed with our own lives?  That's why we must get our thoughts on others.  When we don't, we're being selfish.

It's great to become more sympathetic because it's a step in the right direction of becoming even more like Jesus.  Jesus wasn't just sympathetic, though, He was empathetic.  Sympathy is having compassion for someone, but not necessarily feeling their feelings. For example, if your feelings toward someone who is experiencing hardship are limited to sympathy, then you might have a sense of regret for that person’s difficulty but are not feeling her feelings as if they’re your own.  Empathy is understanding and feeling another’s feelings for yourself.  Putting yourself in their shoes.  Someone loses their job?  Imagine if you lost your job.  How do they feel?  What are they going through? What needs do they have? How can you help?

Becoming more like Jesus is opening our eyes, our ears, our minds.  We have to see the things around us.  We have to really listen - with the intent on hearing, not responding.  Too many times we're busy thinking about our next words instead of listening to what someone else is saying.  And opening our minds turns our thoughts towards others.  After using our eyes, ears, and minds, we can use our mouths for encouragement, and our bodies to serve.  Our hands and feet can make things happen.

A two week change to a better person?  Actually, you can make big changes in one day!  Today you can start by seeing the needs of others.   That's how to become more like Jesus. Take one day at a time and be better.

1 comment:

Wa Wa Waughs said...

One way to help gain empathy for others is to send cards of encouragement. Sympathy, Get Well, etc. I know this is becoming a lost art, but when I take the time to write a message on a card for someone, I think about their situation. I pray for that person. We did this a lot when our kids were younger. As they grew older I would set out cards on the desk for them to sign for other people. Hopefully it helped them a little to think about what was going on in someone else's life.

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