Walking In Someone Else’s Flip-Flops

DSCN0970“Empathy is a stunning act of imaginative derring-do, the ultimate virtual reality—climbing into another’s mind to experience the world from that person’s perspective.” —Donald H. Pink

As we continued our series called Bigger Than Me last night (part 1 is here), we challenged our Impact! youth group to develop greater empathy. That word literally means to be immersed in the feelings of others … to step into someone else’s reality … to walk around in someone else’s flip-flops.

The greatest example ever of this is when Jesus Christ came to earth. He stepped into our flip-flops by coming to live among us in human flesh. He experienced everything we ever have or ever will experience; He knows our weaknesses, our dreams, our joys.

For we do not have a High Priest Who is unable to understand and sympathize and have a shared feeling with our weaknesses and infirmities and liability to the assaults of temptation, but One Who has been tempted in every respect as we are, yet without sinning. … For because He Himself [in His humanity] has suffered in being tempted (tested and tried), He is able [immediately] to run to the cry of (assist, relieve) those who are being tempted and tested and tried…. (Hebrews 4:15, 2:18)

Our youth have committed themselves to develop this Christ-like attribute of empathy. Last night they came to the altar to pick up a flip-flop keychain to remind themselves of this commitment. All of us who made this commitment are going to try to walk in others’ flip-flops by trying to find out:

  1. What do they cry about?
  2. What do they sing about?
  3. What do they dream about?

(Thank you, John Maxwell, for your instruction to me on this!)

I hope you have personally experienced the incredible empathy of Jesus. He understands your fears, your joys, and your dreams even better than you understand them yourself. And I hope that you will join us in our commitment to greater empathy with each other. What a blessing you can be to others when you choose to walk in their flip-flops for awhile.

2 Responses to “Walking In Someone Else’s Flip-Flops”

  1. The Big Ask | Craig T. Owens Says:

    […] Tonight in our Impact! Youth service we are wrapping up a great series called Bigger Than Me. We’ve been challenging our youth to look out from themselves and see the big world around them. This has been an amazing series and I’ve been so excited to see so many students step out in a big way. You can read more here and here. […]

    Like

  2. Trading A Can For A Kid | Craig T. Owens Says:

    […] comfort zone into The UnZone. We looked at the importance of walking in empathy (or, as we said it, walking in someone else’s flip-flops) to know what they are really feeling. Using empathy as the starting point, we then looked at the […]

    Like


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