Let Your Heart Feel for Everyone, Leadership by Empathy

Our country has had many great leaders but only one who is called the father of our nation. We could write about the many character traits that made George Washington a great leader, but today I’ve picked an unlikely one, that is leadership by empathy. This is arguably the most Christ-like character trait of leadership.

“Let your heart feel for the afflictions and distress of everyone.” – George Washington

What many Americans don’t realize is that Washington, like many of our founding fathers, was a devout Christian who believed in the God of the Bible and was well read in the scriptures. We can see that influence in the words of our founders, in their writings and in the very Declaration of Independence and Constitution which they wrote.

In the New Testament we see a couple of verses from Paul exhorting the Church to be empathetic, that is to feel what others feel, and to share in what others may be experiencing.

“Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.” – Romans 12:15 NKJV

In the book of 2 Corinthians Paul explains the purpose of tribulation and affliction: it is so we can then feel for, and comfort others in their tribulations.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,  who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” – 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NKJV

The ultimate though, as usual, is Jesus Christ.

“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” – Hebrews 4:15 King James Version

So mourn with those who are mourning, rejoice with th0se who are rejoicing, and empathize with those around you. It will make you a better friend, brother, sister, husband, wife, father, son, mother, daughter and on and on. And if you find that duty calls to place you in a position of leadership, then let your heart feel for the afflictions and distress of everyone you have leadership over. This is what it means to be a saint of God, and George Washington knew this well.


Let Your Heart Feel for Everyone, Leadership by Empathy — 4 Comments

  1. An appropriate message for the world’s body of leaders. Secular of clerical leaders they may be, a few maintain integrity, others struggle amidst quandary/ies. What unrelenting temptations they may face, egoism is center stage in the absence of empathy in leaderships. Apostle Paul markedly expressed in Phils. 2:4 – we are to seek what benefits others, not what is befitting us alone. 1Cor 13:5 even highlighted this virtue as among the traits of love – not seeking one’s own … Chaste heroism comes in selfless feats, sacrificial of one’s lusts and of gratifications, though deserving, are denied by the will, to pursue the most excellent endeavor, that is, to enthrone the pre-eminence of the God who had bestowed him the office of leadership.

  2. Very well said Lady, our leaders could take a good lesson out of the history of our founders who believed in the providence of God, and out of the truth that God is still on His throne.

  3. Well-meaning, God-fearing individuals, you and us believers have been entrusted the task to interceed for the world. A heavenly priviledge we got yet it’s a lonely crusade to seek God’s intervention over world leaders’ obstinate hold on power; loathsome and despised are we to the world because we seek the Precursor of good, righteousness and justice which meant to completely obliterate these man-appointed credibility, consequently their existence.

  4. I’ve recently started a blog, the information you provide on this site has helped me tremendously. Thank you for all of your time & work.

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