Do you consider yourself an Empath?
Merriam-Webster defines this term as one who experiences the emotions of others : a person who has empathy for others.
I have a problem with this as a Christian.
Let’s take a look at Jesus, for example.
Jesus shed tears. Jesus was acquainted with grief and was a man of sorrows (Isaiah 53:3)
Jesus wept. (John 11:35)
He suffered in all things so that He could bring mercy and comfort to those who are suffering (Heb 2:17,18)
But was He an empath?
Dr. Judith Orloff, a pioneer in the field, describes empaths as those who absorb the world’s joys and stresses like “emotional sponges.”
Really? Did Jesus absorb like an emotional sponge?
Luke 8: 42 But as He went, the multitudes thronged Him.
vs 43 Now a woman, having a flow of blood for twelve years, who had spent all her livelihood on physicians and could not be healed by any,
vs 44 came from behind and touched the border of His garment. And immediately her flow of blood stopped.
vs 45 And Jesus said, “Who touched Me?” When all denied it, Peter and those with him said, “Master, the multitudes throng and press You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’ ”
vs 46 But Jesus said, “Somebody touched Me, for I perceived power going out from Me.”
According to the Dr above, being an Empath is experiencing the emotions of others, who absorb the world’s joys and stresses like an emotional sponge – but Jesus was not able to feel the multitudes – He only felt one as He pressed through the crowd. “Power went out from me.”
A person who is considered an EMPATH ABSORBS – but Jesus said “POWER WENT OUT FROM ME”
Whose Power? His own? He only has what the Father gives Him. He does not absorb. So while He was able to experience the sufferings and the joys of the world, He did not absorb the world’s feelings and emotions.
His strength comes only from the Father. Power went OUT from Him as the Father highlighted who needed strength at that moment.
In today’s climate, if you have identified as an empath, you also consider yourself as one who is able to identify, thus “absorb” heightened feelings and opinions. This must be destroying you.
God has not created you for that. You do not have the strength, nor the power to deal with that, nor are you created that way. ONLY JESUS IS ABLE.
You are to be an overcomer. And if you overcome absorbing and trying to understand everybody’s feelings are you no longer an empath? What happened? Which are you? You cannot be both.
Let’s take this further. Laws are currently being made and stuff is happening right now that sound “empathetic.” But they are evil.
For example, boys who feel like they are girls and participating in women’s sports. Are they women!? Do they feel like they are? Do you understand how they feel?
Do you identify with how they feel? Is it wrong to feel what they feel? Are their feelings right or wrong?
Or are they feelings? Indicators that something else is going on under the hood like the dashboard lights on a car?
You are not the sum total of everybody else’s feelings! You do not absorb the world’s feelings and emotions. It is impossible to do so and be a healthy human being. So if this is not God’s plan, then what explains that this occurs for many people? What happens within your own soul if you identify with a person whose feelings are from trauma and then because you have this “gift” you are able to absorb the trauma and grief of others like little sponges? What happens when laws are made to protect the feelings of people, rather than to protect the freedom and truth God gave us and created us to have? Will you oppose God’s laws?
Of course not, but, you will be torn. You will be torn between knowing what is right in your spirit and what you feel in your soul. War.
In early 90’s, the Lord said this to me “ If the enemy can name your disease, apart from what I call it, he can provide your healing, apart from how I bring it”
Over the years I saw that that was a principle that applied across the board. “If the enemy can name who you are, apart from what I’ve called you, he can provide the steps for your journey apart from the ones I’ve laid out for you.”
Semantics? No. Though some would say that. It’s about embracing that word, then, not being able to find what you need in scripture because the word isn’t there, not even hinted at, so you need a new manual to go by.
I have a better idea. Every personality type is in scripture. When you get to know the characters and how God used them and loved them you find how you are wired. I’ve played this too. I used to call myself empath because that’s how I was wired.
Until I no longer was. What happened then? Did I stop being an empath? Did I lose myself? What changed? What changed was I no longer feel everything and get every symptom under the sun that isn’t mine. I only get a small taste when the Lord gives me compassion. I’m protected from that. I’m soft and tender when I need to be and tough as nails when I need to be.
So, please, stop calling yourself an empath!
If you are having trouble setting boundaries one reason is because you have embraced the word, because its definition fit the experiences of your trauma, but unfortunately, the solutions and how to handle being what you have embraced is far from God’s plan.
Jesus both retreated to the mountains to get away from the crowd but he also overthrew money changers tables violently and called out religious hypocrites! He was neither an introvert nor extrovert. He was not an empath but He knew everyone’s feelings!
So step away from that vision. God created you either to be an outgoing person or a quieter type but when you embrace the definition of a word that was made up by psychologists and people with an agenda, you will embrace THEIR vision, apart from God’s and eventually you will believe things that are not true about who you are.
You are called to be Overcomer.