Category Archives: trust

Conscious Compassion

Conscious Compassion

The engine is fact (God and His Word) and the fuel car is our faith. We should place our trust (the fuel) in God and His Word (the engine). The passenger car is feeling. It would be foolish to place our trust (fuel) in our feelings (the passenger car) … the train will not run! In the same way, we should not depend on feelings or emotions.

The bible teaches in Luke 6:31: as you would others do to you, do you even so to them:

The difference between sympathy and empathy is significant to the Christian walk.

SYMPATHY says in words: “Boy, I’d really hate to be in that man’s shoes.”

EMPATHY says; “I have imagined what it must be like in that man’s shoes, and what I’d want someone to do for me if I were in that condition, I will do now for that man.”

Empathy places itself in another person’s shoes, and from that perspective realizes both the feelings and the need, then says: “I’m responding.”

Jesus words: “Do unto others as you would they do to you,” covers every aspect of life. In Matthew 25:32-46 Jesus said: Freed the hungry. Clothe the naked. Take in the stranger, (homeless). The hungry, naked, and homeless need not only food, clothing and shelter. They need some one to help them learn a skill, get a Job and become responsible. If they are a Drug addict or alcoholic, help them find an agency the deals with deliverance from whatever pathology they have. Care for another human being as if they were your parent or sibling. Have that conscious compassion.

Empathy must also place itself in the shoes of the infirmed. They are lonely and need visits. Helpless and need a hand accomplishing things. They may need other support and help to go to agencies and fill out forms to acquire aid.

ANYONE can repent of past conduct, and begin a new life, and be trusted as if they never did any wrong.

What are we as Christians going to do that have to answer to the lord for each act and word toward the hungry, naked, homeless, sick, and prisoners. When Jesus said: when you done it unto them, you have done it unto me, ENTER INTO KINGDOM OF GOD.
We must think Jesus, who is God, was mistaken when he said: When you failed to do it unto the least of these my brethren, you did it not me. BE CAST INTO EVERLASTING FIRE!

While we were yet sinners, Christ died for the ungodly. If it was the love of God that led us to repentance. Do not allow your love to grow cold.

Empathy will open up and earn the right to confront an individual.

Psychologists call it empathy, the rare capacity to put ourselves into the shoes of our partner and accurately see life from his or her perspective.

Empathy combines two important capacities: to analyze and to sympathize, to use our heads and to use our hearts. Our analytical capacities involve collecting facts and observing conditions. We look at a problem, we break it down into its causes, and we propose solutions. That’s analyzing. Sympathizing is feeling for another person. It is feeling the pain of someone who is suffering or feeling the anger of a person in rage. Analyzing and sympathizing are the twin engines of empathy. One without the other is fine, but their true power is found in combination. We need to love with both our head and our heart to empathize.

While the word “empathy” is never used in the Bible, it is, in a sense, what the whole Gospel message is about. The apostle Paul encouraged empathy in Hebrews when he said: “Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering” (Hebrews 13:3). He also said, “We who are not strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves” (Romans 15:1).

Sympathy focuses on sharing (experiencing) a person’s bad news or feelings, feeling sorry for the person suffering the bad news/feelings, and whether the sympathizer agrees with any of the person’s beliefs, opinions, or goals whereas empathy focuses on sharing (experiencing) a person’s bad and good news or feelings and understanding the bad or good news/feelings rather than feeling sorry for the person’s bad news/feelings or agreeing or disagreeing with the person’s beliefs, opinions, or goals.

Sympathy emphasizes sharing distressing feelings whereas empathy does not emphasize any particular type of feeling. The listener using empathy shares (experiences) whatever feelings the talker is expressing at the moment, regardless of whether the feelings are distressing (grief, for example) or pleasant (love, for example).

Sympathy may also involve agreeing with some aspects of the other person’s feelings, beliefs, etc. whereas empathy emphasizes understanding all of them with no interest in either agreeing or disagreeing.

The person using empathy tunes into the entire inner world of the other person whereas the person using sympathy typically tune

s into only those aspects with which he agrees.

The listener using empathy usually responds more comprehensively to the talker as compared with the listener using sympathy.

At this point you may be thinking: So far you have discussed sympathizing and empathizing with a person’s feelings or beliefs. What about other aspects of a person such as values or goals? I will answer this question by introducing the concept of a person’s inner psychological world, which I will divide into two parts–“the heart part” and “the head part.”

The heart part consists of feelings.

The head part consists of beliefs, thoughts, attitudes, opinions, values, memories, wishes, goals, etc. I have grouped all of the head part components under the label of “beliefs” in order to simplify my comparison.

Both sympathy and empathy involve “tuning in” to (“entering”) the other person’s inner world. After tuning in, the person using empathy temporarily becomes that person in a limited way (“identifies with”), for example, the grieving and loving son; this does not usually happen for the person using sympathy.

Empathy is closely related to the concept of sympathy. We cannot examine empathy without examining sympathy because their meanings are similar and their usage overlaps somewhat. The concept of empathy is a fairly new one, while the idea of sympathy has been around much longer. Empathy has evolved over the past century from its first usage as necessary to aesthetic experience to the idea that it is a fundamental part of human nature and necessary for psychological well-being. This essay will elaborate on how the concept of empathy evolved from the concept of sympathy to include understanding of a person or object, and how the modern usage of empathy is important in our understanding of the human condition.

In psychotherapy, the writings of such theorists as Rogers and Kelly have led to a widespread acceptance among therapists generally of a view of understanding as ’empathy’. Rogers in particular stresses the therapeutic importance of the therapist’s understanding the patient from the patient’s perspective. In order to grasp the meaning for him of the patient’s experience, the therapist has to put himself in the patient’s shoes, to try his level best to see the world from where the patient sees it. Rather than the patient having to learn the therapist’s language and theoretical system, the therapist has to learn the patient’s. In this, he has to attend not so much to the patient’s words, as to their meaning for the patient.

Feelings, Empathy & Decision Making

What is an emotion? Emotion is usually considered to be a feeling about or reaction to certain important events or thoughts. Feelings can be either pleasant or unpleasant.

Many of us are familiar with the train diagram (in the “Four Spiritual Laws” booklet) to illustrate the principle “Do not depend on feelings.”

The engine is fact (God and His Word) and the fuel car is our faith. We should place our trust (the fuel) in God and His Word (the engine). The passenger car is feeling. It would be foolish to place our trust (fuel) in our feelings (the passenger car) … the train will not run! In the same way, we should not depend on feelings or emotions.

Moreover, feelings are undependable. The same event may generate different feelings in different people; how then should we interpret the event and the feelings that follow? Even the same feelings can mean different things to different people.

Some have misunderstood “do not depend on feelings” to mean “deny your feelings.” There is nothing wrong with feelings per se. Emotions filled the Psalms. Jesus wept (John 11:35-36). Eph. 4:26 acknowledges anger as a valid emotion; it doesn’t say, “Don’t be angry because anger is a sin.” The issue is what you do when you are angry. When an argument between my boys gets heated up, I told them, “I understand that you are angry but you cannot show your anger by hitting or name-calling.” We can be human and Christian at the same time.

I’m a Christian, I’m a man, a man with feelings,
Yet sometimes I’m afraid to own my feelings.

Then God said to me:
I’ve made man so be free to be human
be free to own your feelings
but do not deny me.

The above is an excerpt of “A Conversation with God” which I wrote in 1978.

In Matt. 26:38-39, Jesus gave us an excellent example of acknowledging His feelings when He said, “Remove this cup from Me.” This was Jesus’ honest request not to go through with the crucifixion. Jesus knew that He was facing not only the agony of crucifixion but also the trauma of taking on the sins of the world (upon His sinless self) and being separated from the Father. At the same time, Jesus did not deny the Father. He said, “Thy will be done …” (Matt. 26:42).

John R.W. Stott wrote on page 120 of The Contemporary Christian,

“I learned to my astonishment that God, whose ‘impassibility’ I thought meant that he was incapable of emotion, speaks (though in human terms) of his burning anger and vulnerable love.

I discovered too that Jesus of Nazareth, the perfect human being, was no tight-lipped, unemotional ascetic. On the contrary, I read that he turned on hypocrites with anger, looked on a rich young ruler and loved him, could both rejoice in spirit and sweat drops of blood in spiritual agony, was constantly moved with compassion, and even burst into tears twice in public.

From all this evidence it is plain that our emotions are not to be suppressed, since they have an essential place in our humanness and therefore in our Christian discipleship.”

People are sometimes not fully aware of their own emotions. To acknowledge their feelings and control their behavior?

  1. Teach them “feeling words” (e.g., happy, sad, bored, angry, hurting, frustrated).

    A good way to verbalize feelings is to say “I feel _______ (emotion) because _______ (reason).”

    An individual who is in touch with his own emotions and struggles can better take the other perspective to empathize with others (c.f. Heb. 4:15-16). Developing emphatic reactions to other people’s feelings contributes to morality in that when a person feels someone’s joys and pain, he winds up feeling good when he makes them feel good and feeling bad when he hurts them.

  2. Allow our individuals to express their feelings in acceptable ways.

    When a person is frustrated, it is natural to cry. To command him to stop crying is to deny his humanity. We can acknowledge the individuals feelings by saying, “I understand that you are _______ (emotion) because _______ (reason).” Depending on the nature of the problem, you may want to be supportive and encouraging or be firm to get the individual to change his behavior.

  3. How do I know another is emotionally mature? There are no firm standards of emotional maturity such as there are for physical development. “Balance” is a key word. If your child is able to take control of his feelings then he is doing fine. Emotional maturity comes with the passage of time and is based on experience in handling setbacks in life.
  4. Suggest what to do about the situation that has upset them.

    Individuals can be motivated by reason, also subject to passions, desires and other emotions that can motivate them strongly and sometimes in the opposite direction.

    In decision making, we must be able to distinguish between what is really good for us and what seems good for us. Making this distinction is a matter of clear, rational and biblical thinking that is able to weigh the alternatives. It is at this point that emotions may dominate and rational thoughts go out the window! Therefore, it is important to establish principles beforehand as to what to do when caught in that situation.

In His Grace Forever,
Pastor Teddy Awad, CMHP
Young Adult Crisis Hotline
and Biblical Counseling Center


Christian Counselor

As a Christian Counselor

As a Christian Counselor, I base my philosophy of counseling on the passage in Romans that tells us how to be “transformed by the renewing of our minds”.
How do we do this?

Philipians 4 tells us to
1)not be anxious, but to take our requests to God,
2)focus our minds on positive things,
3) learn to be content in life, and
4) praise God for everything.

God then promises us
1) he will guard our heart and minds,
2) He will give us strength for the task,
3) He will give us peace.

To transfer this head knowledge of the scriptures to heart knowledge we need to put these things into practice. Often our relationship with God has been distorted by many of life’s circumstances. I want to help my clients see the truth about God as He reveals himself in scripture. Furthermore, it is my hope that as God see you through your suffering He will heal you and use you to bring honor and glory to Himself and to use you according to his good purposes.

You might ask, “What if I don’t want any of that religious stuff?” I can assure you, you will not get any preaching or sermons unless you ask direct questions about the spiritual side of an issue. I will meet you where you are at in your spiritual journey.
I believe that everyone needs a little help from time to time in this journey of life. I try to learn form everything that happens to me in life. I believe God is using me in His work to bring help and hope to people He brings to my office. I am a trained professional clinician and provide scripturally sound counseling in a safe, non-judgmental and respectful environment.

Differences between Christian / Biblical Coaching and Secular Coaching

There are many differences but primary is the underlying foundation. Secular coaching is humanistic and relies on the client’s self-imposed goals. Christian coaching is Christ-centered. Within Christian coaching, there is a three-way relationship between client, coach and Holy Spirit. Secular coaching involves a two-way relationship between coach and client. Many Christian coaches have found it frustrating to work with secular programs and secularly accredited Christian programs because of the high infiltration of new age philosophies. You won’t find that here at Young Adult Crisis Hotline. The bible distinctly tells us to seek only the counsel of other Christians. It is important to note though, that while we offer Christian Coach training and certification, the techniques learned are also applicable with secular clients. Seek Him first and God will lead those to you, who need what you have to offer.

In His Grace Forever,
Pastor Teddy Awad, CMHP
Young Adult Crisis Hotline
and Biblical Counseling Center