Well, I've been sick for the last 3 days. I stayed home yesterday and today, so I've done a lot of sleeping and watching movies - some good, some so-so. I just finished one that was excellent, though. It's called Warm Springs and it was an HBO Original Movie. It deals with Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Eleanor from the time he contracted polio until he got his political career started again. Rent this if you get a chance.
There was one great line in it. Kathy Bates plays a physical therapist of FDR's. In this scene he's going through a low time and kind of having a pity party. She finally loses her patience and responds to him by saying, "Franklin, I'm not going to play this game with you. I can't help you out of the pit you're in if I jump in it with you."
That statement made me realize that I probably spend too much time sympathizing with people's problems, and not nearly enough time encouraging people or giving them hope. Why is it when a friend is down, we feel this need to wallow with them. There's nothing wrong with a little sympathy once in a while, but what people need is hope. Jesus modeled this. I haven't yet found the verse that says, "Verily, verily, I know how you feel." But how many sermons have we heard on "Jesus can help because he knows what you're going through." I can think of plenty of times when Jesus offered hope, encouragement, and "good news", but I can't think of very many where he used sympathy to draw people out of their problems. Anyway, something to think about.