September 25, 2016

Values: Empathy

Gena Minnix continues our series on our Vox Values by focusing on Empathy and how essential empathy is for diversity [1 Corinthians 8].

Value of Empathy
Theologians use “incarnation” to refer to God’s radical act of empathy: God became like us, in order to be with us and experience what we feel. We strive to reciprocate that in our relationships. This means creating space to listen, feel, and be with people who are different than us. We try to be an intentionally diverse community including background, life stage socioeconomics, sexual orientation, and orthodoxy. Sometimes we do that well, and sometimes we fail. However, we try to practice empathy for both the marginalized and the marginalizers, and allow that empathy to guide us in our responsiveness to injustice. Through authentic spiritual community we learn to be transformed through grace and Christ’s spirit. You will find people here who will embrace and bless you. You will also find people here who will disagree with and challenge you. All of that is a good thing, necessary for healing and wholeness. (1 Cor 8; 1 Cor 12)

Reflection
Where in my life have I experienced God’s empathy?
Do I tend to listen more closely to what someone knows, or how someone feels?
With whom do I find it easy to empathize? With whom do I find it difficult?

Resources
Vox Values
Movie – Inside Out
Podcast – On Being (Ruby Sales)

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