The right kind of sympathy

Matthew 26.38 Then he said to them, ‘My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.”

“Mary Mozley of Central Africa wrote in a letter: “Somebody suggested this thought to me, and it came home to me the other day in reading about Christ in Gethsemane–that the way to show true sympathy is not to pity, but to stand by and strengthen the sufferer to do God’s will.  And in Gethsemane, when Christ turned to the three for sympathy, it was with the words, ‘Watch with Me.’ ‘Stand by Me.’  He asked for no pity, but for the strengthening which might seem a feeble help, just that they might let their presence and prayer tell there for Him, to strengthen Him to do the will of God.”

“The Lord help each one of us to ‘stand by’ one another with just this kind of bracing sympathy.”

(Amy Carmichael)

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