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Now, let us be real: Empathy takes work. You need to investigate and take the time to study a person to walk in their shoes.  This is the most significant reason society has become harsh, vengeful, disconnected and lethargic.  We do not have the time. We’re struggling with our own burdens and challenges and miss the opportunity to observe and see someone’s pain.  

A Prognosis Without Proper Diagnosis is Malpractice  

The most simple and practical step to become more emphatic is to ask more questions first.  Be direct.  But ensure your tone is without judgement and criticism.  Take a sincere interest in people.   Getting feedback is an industry-standard best practice to ensure our connection is on track and keeps people happy.  You will never know if you do not ask.  

The Holy Spirit Power Tools To Reach the Heart  

  1. The Word of Wisdom – The ability to speak wisdom into complex and challenging situations, guided by the Holy Spirit.
  2. The Word of Knowledge – The ability to have an in-depth, detailed, specific understanding of situations given by the Holy Spirit. 
  3. Faith – A special gift of faith that goes beyond everyday belief, enabling individuals to trust God in extraordinarily challenging circumstances.
  4. Gifts of Healing – The ability to act as a conduit for God’s healing power, affecting physical, emotional, or spiritual healing.
  5. Working of Miracles – The capacity to be used by God to perform acts that are beyond natural explanation.
  6. Prophecy – The ability to receive and proclaim messages from God, often concerning the future or the edification of the church.
  7. Discerning of Spirits – The insight to distinguish between spirits that are from God and those that are not, to identify the true source of a spiritual manifestation.
  8. Different Kinds of Tongues – The ability to speak in languages the speaker has not learned, often understood as a sign for unbelievers or as a prayer language.
  9. Interpretation of Tongues – The ability to interpret the tongues spoken by others, making the message understandable.  

Paul extends this list of spiritual gifts in Rom 12:6-8 to Prophecy; Serving/Ministering; Teaching; Encouragement; Giving; Leadership; Mercy. 

Biblical Examples

1. Spiritual Insight and Empathy in Recognizing Nathanael’s Heart – John 1:47-50.

Jesus’s interaction with Nathanael is a testament to the spiritual gift of insight, revealing not just foreknowledge but an understanding of Nathanael’s character. Jesus’s empathetic approach leads to Nathanael’s acknowledgement of Christ’s divinity.

2. Empathetic Encounter with the Samaritan Woman – John 4:16-19.

Jesus uses His divine insight to speak into the Samaritan woman’s life in a way that shows deep empathy for her situation. This conversation at the well illustrates how knowledge and empathy can lead to transformation and revelation.

3. Foreknowledge and Care for Peter – Luke 22:31-34.

Jesus predicts Peter’s denial with foreknowledge, but this revelation is also imbued with empathy. Jesus’s warning is a preparation, not a condemnation, showing care for Peter’s spiritual journey and restoration.

4. Ananias’s Reluctant Mission to Saul – Acts 9:10-12.

The Lord’s revelation about Saul (Paul) to Ananias is a powerful example of spiritual insight. Ananias’s obedience, despite his fears, shows empathy towards Saul’s blindness and confusion, facilitating Saul’s pivotal transformation.

5. Calling Zacchaeus by Name – Luke 19:1-10.

Jesus’s call to Zacchaeus showcases both supernatural knowledge and empathy. Recognizing his desire for change, Jesus invites Himself into Zacchaeus’s home and life, leading to Zacchaeus’s repentance and generosity.

6. Peter’s Vision and the Inclusion of Gentiles – Acts 10:9-20.

The revelation given to Peter about clean and unclean animals, coupled with the instruction to meet Cornelius’s messengers, reflects both divine insight and a push towards empathetic action, breaking down longstanding barriers.

7. Paul’s Assurance of Safety Amid Shipwreck – Acts 27:21-26.

Paul’s confident prediction of the ship’s fate and the safety of all aboard is a testament to spiritual insight. His reassurance to the crew and passengers shows empathy and care in a moment of fear and uncertainty.