I think many people have little empathy for others because they have never felt the pain another person has felt. Once you feel the pain you begin to understand. I think that is part of why hurting people hurt others. They want to be understood on an organic level.
"Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church," - Colossians 1:24 ESV
Today's word is 'complete / fill up / top off' (antanaplēroō - Strong's G466)
I like 'top off' for this word. I think the pain the writer felt helped him connect with Christ in empathy. It bridged the gap. Like overflow from a dam the water reached a level where it flows into the water on the other side and intermingled with it.
Some people are hard to get to know. There is no place of true intermingling.
I think young men experiment with relationships with women to get sex and young women experiment with sex to get a relationship. The problem is that intermingling on that level does not necessarily produce intimacy. Feeling what another person feels and thinking what a person thinks is the basis of a real relationship. Men often don't want to commit because they are afraid to feel. Their biology prevents it. The testosterone wash that floods the brain in the womb and then at puberty makes them emotionally retarded in comparison to a woman but it also makes him detached enough to do what has to be done in emotionally charged situations.
One of the things I have grown to appreciate about confrontational evangelism is the rejection. That may sound masochistic to some and let me tell you I hated it at first. Who doesn't want to be loved? Then I saw that if I was in tune with God the people weren't rejecting me. They were rejecting Christ in me and that created a true shared experience with my Savior. I became sad for Him and not myself. I also rejoiced for Him and not myself when people responded. I was feeling what He feels and He Is feeling what I feel.
The natural man avoids pain and exposure. Deep down it is guilty and does not want the light to reveal it's deeds, thoughts and emotions.
"And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed." - John 3:19-20 ESV
Jesus hung naked and exposed on a cross but He wasn't ashamed. He is not ashamed of you either. He desires intimacy. He isn't a fair weather friend who is just looking for laughs. He knows you. He has experienced your pain already. The question is... will you think and feel with Him. That is the heart of discipleship... walking with God and having shared experiences.