The Power of Empathy and Compassion

I have been thinking about a very old fashioned word lately. I was pulling out of our street a few days ago. There was plenty of time between vehicles. It was mid morning and peak hour was over.

Suddenly I looked into the rear view mirror to see a big truck roaring up behind me. He stopped barely a hands length from the tail of the car. For the next kilometre he sat right there.

Practising empathy & working hard to stay out of judgement & the many stories that were fast forming in my head, I continued on driving focusing on my up coming turn!

I came to the corner, turned and as the truck drove past, I was given a hearty long sound from his horn, incased in some specifically chosen parting gestures.

I was feeling the love!

Digging a bit deeper into empathy and paddling hard to fight off self-righteousness, I wondered what his day, his year was like for him so far? After some muscular emotional work, I landed at the outskirts of compassion.

Had it been another day… perhaps a day like what the truck driver was having, I might not of reached what can seem such an impossible destination at times for us all to find, the shore line of compassion.

As I endeavoured to keep myself camped out in compassion land, I remembered a word that had come up in the early hours that morning.


Such a strange, uncommon word. Seldom used in today’s vocabulary, and yet is it?

Haughty.. having or showing an attitude of superiority and contempt for people or things perceived to be inferior.

“Before destruction the heart of a man is haughty and before honor is humility” says Proverbs 18:12.

In fact as I looked at this word, it seemed to appear a lot in Proverbs, the book full of wisdom on people.

As I sat in the moment, I let the wash of truth flood over me. Compassion practice is brave! When we allow ourselves to move gently towards what scares us, when fear is dragged under our feet and we stand on it rather than it stand on us, we remember our own darkness and we can be present in the darkness of others.

For God so loved the world, He sent His Son into our darkness (John 3:16). He is completely free of a haughty heart. While He is God, Elohim, Supreme, He is love & His posture towards us is not nor ever will be superiority or contempt.

What amazing grace!

Haughty visited me that day and it purified my soul. It was no longer about someone else, it was about me. Landing at compassion revealed my own pride.. my own haughty thinking.. and what I’d just experienced, I did not want to pass on.

In a time when people’s capacity for pain, discomfort, inconvenience seems to be lost, that pain has morphed into hatred & blame where it is much easier to cause pain than it is to feel it.

Is this the result of haughtiness? And is haughtiness a result of our incapacity as humans to have conversations around vulnerability & fear? Our emotions indicate our needs.

We are living in a time set up for some of the most significant breakthrough and needed growth in maturity of two things that defined Jesus & changed the world, and still is.. empathy and compassion.

Papa God I ask that you would release encounters of compassion upon each heart that is reading this blog. May they be blessed with freedom from a haughty spirit that will not only cripple them but can end up in destruction on so many levels. Papa God would you bless us all again with the gift of repentance and compassion. Thank you you are not for our destruction. Thank you that you are for growing our maturity and prospering our destiny. In Jesus name, Amen

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