Personal Emotions

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Daily Reading: Judges 8:18-9:21, Luke 23:44-24:12, Psalm 99:1-9, Proverbs 14:9-10

Daily Verse: “The heart knows its own bitterness, and no stranger shares its joy.” Prov. 14:10

Personal emotions.

No one can truly understand the depths of someone’s sorrow or joy. Never having children, I don’t know the wonder of having a life grow within my body, then experiencing the pain of childbirth and the awe of holding a new life in my arms. As much as I try to understand those feelings, I never truly will.

In the same way, from February 2014 through October 2015, I lost five people, all close, intimate relationships whom God called home. The grief compounded with each loss, challenging my faith and growing me closer to the Lord as I sought His comfort. No one could understand my grief, just like I can’t completely understand someone else.

Today’s proverb warns us against forced empathy. Instead of acting like we understand someone else’s pain, we admit we can’t. Ask them how you can help them through their pain or how you can celebrate their joys with them. Even though we can’t entirely share in the emotion, we can walk with them through it, loving them to the best of our ability.

Allowing people to experience emotions individually will enable us to come alongside them, praying for and supporting them on the journey.

Lord, forgive us for thinking we understand others’ feelings when we don’t. Help us to support people, whatever the circumstances, grieving with those who grieve, rejoicing with those rejoicing. Let us become more like Christ as we strive to obey and follow You.  IJNIP. Amen

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