Making the Case Against Empathy

Making the Case Against Empathy

I worked in a large hostel for 140 homeless people in the mid-1990s. One resident (let’s call him Brian) had incredibly strong body odor. His lack of personal hygiene and reluctance to wash his clothes became a real issue. It led to snide comments from other...
Why Neurology Predisposes You to Love Your Neighbor

Why Neurology Predisposes You to Love Your Neighbor

Our neurology predisposes us to love our neighbor. When Jesus commands us to love our neighbor as we love ourselves (Mark 12:30-31; Matthew 22:39), he is challenging us to nurture our innate, neurological capacity for empathy. Our brains are wired for empathy, argues...
Learning to be Empathetic Without Feeling Threatened

Learning to be Empathetic Without Feeling Threatened

Our natural instincts serve us well, to a point. They’re self-protective and that’s healthy too, to a point. Let me explain. Recently, I was at a football game with a number of friends. We arrived at the game in two cars and parked in the stadium’s underground parking...
Moving Beyond Criticism and Anger to Deeper Empathy

Moving Beyond Criticism and Anger to Deeper Empathy

Recently, I attended a symposium where the keynote speaker was a man exactly my age. Because we had both lived through the same cultural and religious changes in our lives, I resonated with much of what he said and with how he felt about things. And in his assessment...