Sympathy says, “I understand what you’re going through, and what you feel is neither strange nor crazy.” Today, some call this “empathy” but the Bible word is “sympathy.” It says, “As holy people . . . be sympathetic, kind, humble, gentle, and patient” (Colossians 3:12 GWT).
Every time you understand and affirm someone’s feelings, you build fellowship.
Every time you understand and affirm someone’s feelings, you build fellowship. The problem is that we’re often in such a hurry to fix things that we don’t have time to sympathize with people. Or we’re preoccupied with our own hurts. Self-pity dries up sympathy for others.
In real fellowship people experience mercy. Fellowship is a place of grace, where mistakes aren’t rubbed in but rubbed out. Fellowship happens when mercy wins over justice.
We all need mercy, because we all stumble and fall and require help getting back on track. We need to offer mercy to each other and be willing to receive it from each other.
You can’t have fellowship without forgiveness because bitterness and resentment always destroy fellowship. Sometimes we hurt each other intentionally and sometimes unintentionally, but either way, it takes massive amounts of mercy and grace to create and maintain fellowship.
The Bible says, “You must make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others” (Colossians 3:13 NLT).
"ACT 13:36 is the epitaph for King David," Warren said. "It says, ‘He served God’s purpose for his generation. And then he died.’ And that’s my life verse. He did serve God’s purpose, that which never changes but he did it in his generation. He did it in a contemporary and relevant way. He did the timeless in a timely way. He did that which never changed in a world that’s constantly changing and that’s all that any of us can do. My goal is to serve God’s purpose in my generation and then I’ll die. Then the next guy will serve God’s purpose in his generation. And I believe God has a purpose for every life. And if you’re alive, if your heart’s beating, God has a purpose for your life. God has never done anything without a purpose."
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"My belief is not the result of a blinding flash of a road-to-Damascus revelation. Nor is it the imprint of a nurturing home environment. Kindergartners in their simplicity ask many profound questions, but the purpose of the universe is rarely among them. Maturing teenagers in their angst may ask, "What's the meaning of it all?" The question is existential, but the answer is subtle. Understanding emerges not in thunder, earthquake and fire, but in the still small voice of the universe itself.
Quite possibly, the purpose of the universe is to provide a congenial home for self-conscious creatures who can ask profound questions and who can probe the nature of the universe itself." ~Owen Gingerich
I just finished reading , Infidel, by Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Wow! what a woman she is and what an inspiration. If you have to read one book to get inspired, moved and touched; I suggest buying this book. Her famous quote is, "Tolerance of intolerance is cowardice". Here is an excerpt from her book:
What matters is the atrocities against women and children are carried out in Europe. What matters is that governments and societies must stop hiding behind a hollow pretense of tolerance so that they can recognize and deal with the problems.These Muslim organization in Holland are supposed to act as liaisons between Muslims and the local and national governments. But their leadership represents no one. They're not elected. They're comfortably bloated on subsidies and produce virtually no real programs. The men who run those Muslim groups are supposed to represent Muslim women. They know the issues, but they simply never address them. They called me a traitor, but it is they who betray Muslims - Muslim women and children.
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
That's why I reject socialism and communism in any disguise they may come with. Be ware!
— C.S. Lewis