“No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us.” -1 John 4:12
“As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you. Now remain in My love. If you obey My commands, you will remain in My love, just as I have obeyed My Father’s commands and remain in His love.” –John 15: 9-10
“Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.” –Ephesians 6: 24
Scripture reveals God’s principles and laws, all within the context of His unconditionally loving nature. The absolutely just, all-loving ultimate Man crafts with infinite structure, yet limitless creativity. Science is the discovery of the Lord’s patterns, intricately complex in variety yet exquisitely unified throughout the cosmos.
If I have not yet experienced the Father’s overwhelming love for me, then following the letter of the law will give me a form of religion, not a living heart relationship with Jesus Christ. Most of us begin to minister when we have not yet been transformed by His loving presence in our lives, into the persons of yielded gentle character that wounded healers must be. In heart-healing counseling, we are in the precarious position of needing to earn trust and consent from the sufferer, so we may enter (with the Lord) into the secret parts of her being. This honor and responsibility requires tender care. Mistakes are inevitable, and God can prevail in spite of our mistakes, but deep healing works through love alone. This article aims to address the importance of empathy in that effort.
In Galatians 5: 6, Paul states, “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love”. Our status in the church, our record of good works, our view of ourselves, our knowledge of Scripture, our “good track record”, our understanding of Christian counseling techniques, our list of books read—none of these accomplishments has power to heal. Healing works by love through the Holy Spirit.
There is a direct correlation between the ministry of God’s people, the ministry of love, and the love of God being experienced and completed in people. Because we bear the image of God and God works in us, His love is imparted through us to others, breaking down old strongholds and beliefs that have kept people imprisoned for years. We are His hands, His ears, His eyes, and His heart.
God’s gift of love grants everyone free will to make choices countless times each day. In heart-healing counseling we carefully ask permission before proceeding in any direction. We try never to dominate, instead we suggest or inquire. As Frederick Buechner once said, “Of all powers, love is the most powerful and the most powerless. It is the most powerful because it alone can conquer that final and most impregnable stronghold which is the human heart. It is the most powerless because it can do nothing except by consent.”
When at times instruction in God’s ways is necessary, we say as did the Apostle Paul in mentoring Timothy, “The goal of our instruction is to love, from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” (1 Timothy 1: 5). When love is the goal of instruction, the outcome is deeper relationship.