John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
John 21:15When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.”
“I don’t think anyone can understand what I’m going through, unless they have been there.”
“If you want to understand someone you have to walk a mile in their shoes.”
“You have such a good testimony. My faith has never been tested like that.”
I have heard statements like this for a long time and I didn’t realize why they make me cringe, until today. I state again, Jesus ate with sinners, but he did not become a sinner to understand our pain. I do not buy the idea that somehow, those who have not been touched in someway by suicide cannot understand my pain and grief. If you are in the flesh, you can understand. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
The effectiveness of our empathy for the broken comes from how closely we are relating to the love of God, not how much we relate to each other. I think I have just rebuffed about every method of psychology we use to address what ails us in that statement. If we really want to counter suicide and depression then we need to love like Jesus. Only then will we feed his sheep, sacrifice for others, take persecution and forgive our enemies.
The closer I draw to the love of my heavenly Father the more I love and am broken hearted for your pain and struggles. And, since there was no separation between Jesus and the love of God he loves us completely! This was the first truth I had to accept when I began walking with Jesus. Scripture is a love note from beginning to end, even the hard parts. From the beginning of creation God has loved us.
When Jesus asks you if you love him, what is your answer?