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I Know How You Feel!

Empathy Compassion Disappointment

Source: “Historic breakdown,” By Jeff Passan, Yahoo! Sports, April 23, 2007

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Mitchell Dillon | Date Posted: 2018-04-25

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 1:4 ; 2 Corinthians 1:6

Author: Jeff Passan
10

ILLUSTRATION

Every baseball player dreams of making it to the majors, but to tie a Major League Baseball record within the first week would be something really special. Chase Wright, a rookie pitcher for the New York Yankees, did just that in only his second game after being called up from a Double-A team—though probably not in the way he had hoped.

On April 22, 2007, Wright gave up a record four consecutive home runs to the Boston Red Sox, allowing the Red Sox to sweep their division rivals in their first meeting of the season. In doing so, Wright tied the record previously held by Paul Foytack, who gave up four consecutive homers in 1963. 

Rather than berate the young pitcher, then Yankee skipper Joe Torre said, "It's just another piece of experience for that kid. It has nothing to do with what he's going to be or what's going to happen in the future. I still think he's going to be special. He's a pretty tough kid."

While Torre's confidence was certainly heartening to Wright, he received some support in the mail from someone who could really empathize with his plight. Paul Foytack, Wright's partner in baseball infamy, mailed him a letter of encouragement the next morning. "He's kind of young to be going through that," Foytack said. “Hopefully, he'll take it to heart."

APPLICATION

There was only one other person on the planet who knew exactly how Chase felt, and that was Paul Foytack. Because of that, Paul was the one person whose words of encouragement would mean the most to Chase. 

God equips us, through the most disappointing or painful experiences of our lives, for the ministry of encouragement. Had Paul Foytack not had the same experience, he would not have been able to offer Chase such meaningful comfort. 

It is through our disappointments that God empowers us to empathize with the very people who most need it.

“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ. Even when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer. We are confident that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in the comfort God gives us" (2 Corinthians 1:3-7).

The Bug Letter

Compassion Empathy Love (Human)

Source: http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-bug2.htm

Contributed By: Charles Krieg | Date Posted: 2017-07-01

Scripture: Colossians 3:12 ; Matthew 9:36

Author: Charles Krieg
9

ILLUSTRATION

They tell the story of a man who was on a business trip and stayed in a hotel that had a bug problem. There were bugs all over his room. He complained about this to the management and later wrote a letter of complaint to the main office of the hotel chain. 

Sometime later he received a letter signed by the President of the company. It said: “We are humiliated that a man of your integrity, a man of your reputation, a man of your importance in the community should have had this experience in one of our hotels. We are deeply sorry.” 

This made the man feel somewhat better about the situation until, as he was folding the letter to put it away, he noticed a little piece of paper at the bottom of the envelope, obviously not supposed to have been included. It was in the President’s handwriting and it read: “Send this guy the ‘bug letter.’”

[This is but one version of this story. Follow the link above for a history of this legend.]

APPLICATION

Unfortunately, this is the way we sometimes treat other people.  We send them the ”bug letter,” the form letter. We give them the old cliches: We ask them: “How are you?” when we don’t really care. We say “have a nice day," or "I'm so sorry,” when really we couldn’t care less. 

The Lord said that we should be compassionate. We must truly care about others. Each day we come into contact with people who will have one thing in common: they're struggling with something. They will tell us about loved ones who are sick, loved ones who have died, loved ones who have problems. They will share with us their sufferings, their heartaches, their fears. Perhaps Mark Twain was right when he said, “You should never tell people your problems because 80 percent of them won’t care, and the other 20 percent will think you deserve them!” 

Let us not send them the “bug letter.”  Let us listen carefully and mean it when we say we care. Jesus never sent anyone a “bug letter.”  We shouldn’t either.

"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience." (Colossians 3:12). 

A Broken Promise Is More Than A Broken Promise

God's Promises Empathy Assurance

Source: "Fake $40,000 pledge to ill UT teen prompts donors," Posted: Oct 16, 2015 8:28 PM EDT

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-11-29

Scripture: Hebrews 4:15 ; James 5:12

Author: Illustration Exchange
5

ILLUSTRATION

MAGNA, UT - A $40,000 anonymous pledge to help 15-year-old Alexis with her fight against brain cancer turned out to be too good to be true. According to CNN:

The Goulds were told the money was donated by a local businessman who was supposed to be sending over a check to Primary Children’s Hospital.  But as treatments for Alexis began, it became evident there was no account to charge. For the Goulds, it was a setback but not one they're dwelling on now. Instead, they're focusing on Alexis' recovery.

Fortunately, while the promised pledge fell through, Alexis has received numerous gifts from others.

APPLICATION

Being human, we all possess the capacity to empathize with those who are suffering. Unfortunately, being human means we also have the capacity to break the promises our empathy moves us to make. We do this all the time; to our spouses, to our kids, to our bosses, and even to young cancer patients. 

Thankfully, Jesus is a different kind of human being—there has never been another one like Him. He is both God and man, bearing all of the best qualities of both. As a fellow human being, He responds to us with empathy.  As God, He can never, and will never, lie to us, or break any of His promises.

We are not Jesus; however, we can strive to be more like Him. In your own life, don’t promise more than you are able to deliver. Make your promises few but sure.  Remember that you are merely human, that promises are as easy to break as they are to make, and that when you break a promise you break a hope.

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet he did not sin” (Hebrews 4:15).

“But most of all, my brothers and sisters, never take an oath, by heaven or earth or anything else. Just say a simple yes or no, so that you will not sin and be condemned” (James 5:12).

While There Is Still One Soul In Prison

Empathy Freedom Outreach

Contributed By: Fred Gates | Date Posted: 2015-11-15

Scripture: 1 Timothy 1:15 ; Romans 3:23

Author: Fred Gates
4

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Three Pregnant Dads

Motherhood Empathy Men's Concerns

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-04-27

Scripture: Romans 12:15 ; 1 Peter 3:8

Author: Illustration Exchange
2

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We Lepers

Evangelism Empathy Sacrifice

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-03-16

Scripture: Matthew 10:39

Author: URBANA.org
4

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Muslims Join Christians in Fasting for Lent

Lent Empathy Evangelism

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-03-07

Scripture: 1 Peter 3:15

Author: Illustration Exchange
1

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Great Tip for Terrible Service

Empathy Grace Comfort

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-10-06

Scripture: Ephesians 4:32 ; Romans 12:15

Author: ABC News Staff - Good Morning America / Illustrati
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I Am Your Father, Bowe

Fatherhood Incarnation Empathy

Contributed By: Fred Gates | Date Posted: 2014-06-06

Scripture: Hebrews 2:17 ; Philippians 2:6

Author: Fred Gates
6

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The Topography of Tears

Sorrow Emotions Empathy

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-05-29

Scripture: Psalms 56:8 ; Revelation 7:17

Author: Illustration Exchange
4

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