I’m going to conclude this brief rumination on servant leadership by identifying a final trait of servant leadership. It is Empathy. (Integrity, Humility, Flexibility, Resilience and Stewardship are the other traits.) Empathy is the brain’s wired tendency to identify with those who are close to us – close in proximity or close in kinship. We show empathy best with those close to us. There have been times in my life when a friend or family member sat with me when I was distraught, confused and hurting. As I think about those times, I’m so very grateful for those who cared enough to be there for me.  They embodied empathy. Empathy for a servant leader is choosing to and being able to envision yourself in someone else’s position. It helps you to understand what someone is going through, struggling with and what they are feeling about the circumstance. I don’t know about you, but more often than not, it’s easier for me to get more focused on tasks and the required work needing to be accomplished. Work is important and finishing goals is too! A servant leader sees people as Jesus sees them, not merely as instruments to get things accomplished but as people valued and worthy of respect.  I’ll suggest empathy is a key aspect of leadership. A servant leader brings the potential to witness to others and demonstrates Christ-like leadership.

Scripture Reading: Romans 12:15
“Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.”

Reflection Questions:
How do you define empathy?
Who needs an encouraging word from you?
What reason do you have to rejoice?

Prayer: Holy God, as I make my way through today, keep my heart filled with the assurance that you are near and encourage me to hold fast to your presence.  Let my heart produce the fruit of your spirit. Amen.