A Quavering Voice
Living a Christian life involves thinking beyond face-value observations about social situations.
For example, consider a woman who is singing in church with a quavering voice.
As new Christians from the public seek how to think and respond to people in a Christian way, they will want to keep in mind that it is often needful to think beyond face-value observations to respond empathetically to people. For example, consider a woman who is singing in church with a quavering voice. A face-value observation made by someone nearby her who is thinking exteriorly at the time might be negative, and a corresponding reaction might involve whispering a few negative words about her voice after sitting back down again.
However, an empathetic observation that involves looking beneath the surface of a situation would involve the consideration that this woman has probably worked up the courage to sing because of her love for God and sings knowing she might be embarrassed for it. Such behavior wouldn’t be material for a negative response. Such behavior would instead be brave and respect-worthy.
Thinking empathetically about social situations is not the same as making excuses for inappropriate behavior, however. Condoning behavior that is unkind or disrespectful is harmful to people instead. Inauthentic considerations can also be harmful because they can keep someone from seeing what is actually happening. Real empathic thought involves trying to see and think about what is actually happening to keep from responding to people in the wrong way and to view and react to people in a way that is appropriately compassionate.