I have been camped out in this passage for a number of days now, and today I'm focusing on sympathy. Sympathy is defined as “feelings of pity and sorrow for someone else's misfortune.”
Sometimes I feel like I have a difficult time feeling sympathy, and no capacity for it. Maybe that is in part because I'm not a very emotional person. But there is so much around us to feel sympathy for. So much sorrow. So much pain. So much hurt. So much misfortune. And at the same time that I'm not an emotional person, I also find it almost overwhelming. Yet sympathy is one of the characteristic Peter writes of in chapter three and calls us to demonstrate in our lives.
“Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, tender hearts, and humble minds.” I Peter 3:8
Sympathy is to be a part of the fabric of our lives. Part of our DNA. It's kind of like hospitality— you either got it, or you work at it. I’m working at it. Actually, I’m working at both. In some small way I believe they are related. Both sympathy and hospitality require the capacity to love others deeply. I'm working at that also.
If you know someone who works with people, this book is for them. It was life-changing for me and I will never look at people the same again, even the difficult-to-love kind of people.
I have grown a love for people in a way that I thought could never be possible. That love is straight from God, but this book aided that gift in a huge way. I love what he says in his book, "Love people, even the difficult ones, without distinction and without limits." Without distinction. Without limits. We sure need more of that in the world today! I've grown to love people, and at the same time I've grown to feel sympathetic and my capacity for hospitality has grown as well.
"In his entertaining and inspiring follow-up to the New York Times bestselling phenomenon Love Does, Bob Goff takes readers on a journey into the secret of living without fear, constraint, or worry. The path toward the liberated existence we all long for is found in a truth as simple to say as it is hard to do: love people, even the difficult ones, without distinction and without limits.
Driven by Bob’s trademark storytelling, Everybody, Always reveals the lessons Bob learned--often the hard way--about what it means to love without inhibition, insecurity, or restriction. From finding the right friends to discovering the upside of failure, Everybody, Always points the way to embodying love by doing the unexpected, the intimidating, the seemingly impossible. Whether losing his shoes while skydiving solo or befriending a Ugandan witch doctor, Bob steps into life with a no-limits embrace of others that is as infectious as it is extraordinarily ordinary. Everybody, Always reveals how we can do the same." -goodreads
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