You may find that you struggle with loving your own family sometimes. When you come to church, you may find that these people are equally challenging to love. This challenge may be somewhat surprising to you, but it shouldn’t be.
People are people regardless of where they are. Nevertheless, Christ calls us to show one another empathy and love. These are what it takes to build His Kingdom. There are a few ways you can develop these feelings and share them with those in your church.
Empathy is the ability to see and feel what those around you are experiencing. This emotion requires you to look outside of yourself, to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. In doing so, you’re not only hearing what someone is saying, but you’re showing them your love by actively listening to them. This act can make a difference in many ways.
Your pastor has emotions too. However, they lay these emotions aside so that they can better serve your church. By laying aside your emotions and focusing on sharing empathy and love, you’ll make their job easier.
You can’t expect every to agree all the time. However, empathy and love are instrumental in diffusing a conflict and quickly resolving it. Without them, we’re selfish – we want everything our way. When this happens, nothing is accomplished.
At the heart of your church’s ministry are members who are seeking healing for their needs. By showing empathy and love, we aren’t only sympathetic, but we feel driven to help them.
But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ ~ Hebrews 4:15
Jesus provides the supreme example of empathy and love. Feeling the pain of those around Him, He willingly bore our sin. Since we’re to be more like Him, we must be willing to be more loving and empathetic. These feelings will help us feel empowered to share our testimony with them in a way they feel is sincere.
Your church is a family made up of the Holy Spirit. There will be times when you will have disagreements, but there should always be lots of love. Here are several practical ways to share this empathy and love for God with those who fellowship with you.
Brethren, pray for us. ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:25
One of the most loving things you can do for the people in your church is to pray for them. Instead of merely telling someone that you’ll pray for them, take the time to seek the Lord in prayer on their behalf. We frequently see this prayer life throughout the New Testament church, which is why this church was so healthy.
Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. ~ Hebrews 10:25
To show empathy and love for the people in your church, you must attend regularly. In doing so, you’ll find that the Spirit moves in a special way when the entire community is gathered together for worship.
It’s also important to understand that the word community is a biblical word that occurs 90 times throughout the New Testament. God commands the church to greet, comfort, and seek one another’s good. You can’t live out God’s commands without living in a community of believers.
Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. ~ Ecclesiastes 4:9
Like with any family, everyone in your church is responsible for sharing their empathy and love with one another. Therefore, you’re needed to serve in your church. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Simple, practical things are important too.
Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another ~ Romans 12:10
We want nothing but the highest good for our family. However, we must remember that our blood family isn’t the only family we have as Christians. We also have our spiritual family in our church. We need to want their highest good too. To demonstrate our desire, we must be willing to share words of empathy and love with those around us, especially our pastor.
Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do. ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:11
With how challenging life is today, encouragement is so important. All it takes is a simple text to help someone. As a church family, this is the least we can do for others.
Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. ~ Colossians 3:13
You’ll never find a perfect church. Unfortunately, conflict is a part of every family. However, we can’t let our disagreements cause us to give up on the church. Instead, we must be willing to repent regularly and forgive freely.
And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God. ~ Ecclesiastes 3:13
A healthy family enjoys having fun together. Unfortunately, many of us forget that church should be fun. After all, Jesus was full of joy, excitement, and fun. This fact is witnessed in several ways. His first miracle was at a wedding. People, especially children, loved to spend time with Him. Remembering these things, we too should want to make church a fun place for people.
But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ ~ Ephesians 4:15
The Christian faith is built on the truth we find in Jesus, God, and the Bible. The way we spend time building others up and pointing them towards the righteousness found in Christ should demonstrate this belief.
Are you willing to take the time to show empathy and love to those whom you fellowship with each week? These feelings don’t mean that you always agree with these people, but it does mean that you are their brother or sister in Christ. As such, you want to work alongside them to help build His Kingdom here on Earth. Be encouraged and be challenged to do these things today.