Sympathy is the Condolence of Life

Sympathy is the Condolence of Life

Sympathy is the first step toward compassion.  Sympathy, empathy, and compassion are all interrelated.  Pity is merely feeling sorry for someone.  To sympathize is to understand their grief and misery.  To empathize is to feel their pain.  Condolence is the compassionate expression of sympathy that causes us to do something to help alleviate the pain.

We live in a world that is hurting.  Many people are so wounded themselves that they cannot see beyond their own pain.  It is possible to become so shut down inside emotionally that you become numb and void of feeling.  Self-pity will not only keep you from seeing the needs of others, but will also keep you stuck in your own pain.  Sympathy is only useful when it is given away.  The way to get rid of feeling sorry for yourself is to extend condolence to someone else.

Isaiah 61:1-2

“…He hath sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound…to comfort all that mourn…”

Practical Application and Assignments:

Sympathy helps to relieve the pain of others because it lets them know that someone cares.  The expression of condolence brings healing because it says, “You are not alone.”

  • Find a need and fill it.  The newspaper is filled with reports of local and global tragedies.  Respond.  For example: Write a letter of encouragement to someone you have never met…Conduct a food and clothing drive for families who are desolate…Volunteer at a homeless shelter…Adopt a child in another country by giving through a reputable charity organization…Go on a mission trip with a team conducting a medical clinic or constructing schools and churches…
  • Schedule specific dates and times on your calendar to be available to reach out, to listen, comfort, and care for others.  God opens doors of opportunity for those who say, “Where He leads me, I will follow.”

“Bear ye one another’s burdens…” Galatians 6:2

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