Moved with compassion

Sympathy and compassion can be two quite different things. And whether we get bogged down in a sympathy that only commiserates with despair or we're moved with compassion determines much about how helpful we can be to someone in need and to our world.

When one feels only helpless sympathy for another's distress, there is a tendency to take on the suffering. One may find himself weighed down with a sense of hopelessness. And while it might seem that someone in trouble wants our sympathy, this is not necessarily what will benefit him. The response that remains only at the level of human pity is not a healing response.

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Faith's secret
February 11, 1985
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