Intentionally-Focused Faith: Week Five

Intentionally-Focused Faith

What IFF our faith led us to hold space for the faiths of others?

EMPATHY

It's our final week for exploring the qualities of an Intentionally-Focused Faith. This week we look at the importance of Empathy. If we all could simply step back and approach our differences with curiosity, rather than judgment, we might be able to connect to the emotions behind words or actions with which we disagree. Join us as we challenge ourselves to reflect on the empathy we have for ourselves, and how self-empathy can open us more fully to develop empathy for others. Dig into the Scripture readings, ponder the guiding questions, watch the video, and check out the additional resources, as we discover why Empathy might just be the key to an Intentionally-Focused Faith!


Scripture

“If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it.” ~ 1 Corinthians 12:26

“Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’” ~ Matthew 25:34-40

Guiding Questions

  1. In your understanding, what is the difference between empathy and sympathy? What is the role of self-empathy in allowing empathy for others?
  2. What are struggles, challenges, and suffering that have taken place or are present in your life? How do these things affect your ability to connect to the emotional needs of others?
  3. Why is it important to be able to see other’s suffering as our own suffering?
  4. Judging others will keep you from being able to have empathy for them. How can you work to change judgment into curiosity? How does curiosity encourage empathetic attunement?

Additional Resources

3 Videos on the Importance of Empathy: CLICK HERE

Brene Brown is a leader in the research and discussion of the importance of empathy. CLICK HERE to read articles, discover books, and check out videos of her work with Empathy, Shame, and Vulnerability.

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