F. W. Farrar: Sympathy

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Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 1 Peter 3:8-9

“We often do more good by our sympathy than by our labors. A man may lose position, influence, wealth, and even health, and yet live on in comfgrt, if with resignation; but there is one thing without which life becomes a burden — that is human sympathy.”

F. W. Farrar in Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers, compiled by Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert (New York: Wilbur B. Ketcham, 1895) 574.

Think about this idea. “We often do more good by our sympathy than by our labors.” For some of you, this is not a new idea. This mindset guides your living, giving, serving, and loving. God bless you people!

For the rest of us who tend to focus on our labors, it’s profound to think that listening, for example, may be the best gift we can give someone. Such sympathy costs nothing. We can all do it. But it requires effort.

The Apostle Peter beckons us to be like-minded, sympathetic, loving, compassionate, and humble toward each other. This is the pathway both giving and receiving blessing. It’s key for our generosity.

Father, remind us of the good we can do by being sympathetic today. Empower us by your Holy Spirit to be loving and compassionate. Hear our prayer in your mercy in the name of Jesus. Amen.