Matthew 25:31-46

Empathy is the cornerstone of Christ’s’ ministry. Jesus calls citizens in the Reign of Christ to be self-loving and actively engaged. (Matt. 25: 45-46)

Habit 3-Experiential empathy: involves physically putting yourself in the space of somebody else who is completely different than yourself. There are three types: (A) Physical immersion; (b) exploration; (c) cooperation. A - Physical immersion: is the taking on another persona in a population radically different than your own to live and experience at firsthand the life of the other person. B – Exploration: living like an anthropologist searching out and closely observing the lives in cultures other different well engaging and empathetic travel. C – Cooperation: working together with others often in a traumatic atmosphere making an empathetic union with your coworker.

Habit 4 - Experiential empathy is often supported and propelled by the learning of the language of a different culture as well as the associated cultural practices. Conversation: an essential means for understanding the inner emotional life and ideas of self & others at an empathetic level. Modern Text messaging allows a lot of the innermost deeper thoughts and emotions to remain latent allowing for manipulation by others. Highly empathetic people share seven basic traits at a conversational as well as inner-personal level: 1)    Curiosity about strangers – it carries over to new ideas and areas of scientific investigation (“tell me more about what you do?”) 2)    Radical listening – receiving empathetically in three major areas of undivided presence: focused attention; focused on feelings; focused on needs and fears. NVC training develops these skills. 3)    Taking off the mask – embracing vulnerability and sharing transparently about the self within healthy boundaries. Calls for innovation, creativity and engagement. 4)    Concern for the other – having courage to be selfless in any communication with the other at a deep empathetic level while not losing personal identity of skills and strengths. 5)    Creative spirit-based conversations – avoiding conversational clichés and engaging at a thinking curiosity level. Example “What have you been thinking about this morning (as a Christian)?” 6)    Sheer courage – bravery to put others’ concerns ahead of our own needs with a goal of responsible reconciliation and making peace. Ex. 12 step “making amends”, acknowledging mistakes in person. 7)    Self-empathy or self-compassion – this psychological foundation is necessary to connect with others in a meaningful healthy ways. Allows for the attachment of the inner self with desperate parts of self-identity and helps to over-come insecurity.

God calls us to love ourselves. This contains concepts of- self-kindness towards oneself; common humanity connection of self with the larger human experience; and mindfulness the holding of pain for our thoughts and feelings and developing a balanced awareness rather than identification with them. Builds energy for sustaining empathic conversations. Reflects Jesus’ self-care as we journey together Creating and Expanding the Reign of Christ in our World.