1 Corinthians 10:24 Try to do what is good for others, not just what is good for yourselves.
One of the hardest parts of relationships for me is not trying to just fix things. It’s a pretty stereotypical “guy” thing, but it’s something that I think everyone deals with at some point or another.
Yesterday, one of the things we said about empathy is that it isn’t about trying to fix things. Putting a silver lining around something or just trying to get to a solution isn’t empathy at all.
So, what’s the problem trying to be solved in this video? The title pretty much gives it away – it’s not about the nail (really!). See, removing the nail might make her head feel better, but it does nothing to solve the deeper problem – her partner isn’t connecting with her experience. He’s distant and disconnected from what’s going on in her life. Together they may be able to address the nail, but that only comes after they’ve built an empathic connection for each other’s situation.
That moment towards the end where he says that her situation must be really hard. That’s a bit of empathy shining through. And what happens? They strengthen their relationship and she feels understood and accepted.
There are some things in life that we can change (like pulling a nail out of our heads), but there are just as many that we have no control over whatsoever. Empathy gives us a way to find healing and love even when our nails can’t be removed.
Just as Paul urged us yesterday, again he urges the Corinthians (and us) to act in love with empathy; seeking to do what is good for others. Being able to step forward in empathy to share in another’s burdens allows us to address the deepest concerns of life by showing others that they are not alone.
Today, may you feel the presence of all those who bear your burdens with you, and may you extend that grace to others as well.