"I have no sympathy because....."
When does this phrase usually occur? You probably hear it from an elder or mentor that you go to for advice during a difficult situation. They think of it as complaining about petty problems. I don't know if it's supposed to give us encouragement knowing that they went through the same thing and got through it, but none of us want to hear that. We want to know that we are cared about.
When I was a teenager I was told that I just had to "get through" school. I took that advice because those people told me, "I have no sympathy for you... I was in high school and people make fun of me too. It makes you a better person. Get over it."
I understand, I really do. You are older than me and you have had more experiences than me. Does that give you the right to tell me that my experiences are tiny compared to yours? I would like to believe that it's not. I would like to believe that there are better ways to say exactly what this phrase is trying to say.
We are allowed to have our off-days and be irritated every once in awhile. If we didn't have those days we would be perfect and we know that we are not perfect in any way. Let's be honest, when you say that phrase it's because you are having a bad day and you don't want to listen to other people's problems because you have your own stuff to deal with. It's a good way to get rid of a person.
We have a lot of excuses and they usually sound a little like this...
"But he has a drug problem and he brought this on himself."
"But she was sleeping around, why should I feel sorry for her?"
"But she spends her money on things that I think are useless so why should I help her out?"
"But he's gay so it's not in my place to help him with his relationship issues."
"But they have an un-holy relationship so even if I tell them something about relationships it's just going to go in one ear and out the other."
So we justify these excuses by saying....
"I have no sympathy for you because I got over my problem and I quit cold turkey. Why can't you do that?!"
"I have no sympathy for you because you got in bed with him. You knew he was just going to break your heart. You'll get over it eventually."
"I have no sympathy for you because you spend your money on things that I don't approve of. I think I should look at your receipts before I offer to help you."
"I have no sympathy for you because you chose that lifestyle."
"I have no sympathy for you because you don't go to church and you won't care even if I try to help you."
...and going through the brains of these people is this one thing....
"But I came to you! I want to change my ways, talk about real issues, get help, discuss solutions, and get closer to the one thing that keeps you alive and well! I want to understand how you came to the solutions of your problems that are just like mine. I want you to tell me that it's going to be okay without throwing me under that bus for the choices that I made that got me here. I need a friend and I came to you."
I'm not going to assume that everyone reading this is a Christian so what I am about to say should not be thought of as only applying to Christians. We are humans. We all make mistakes. We all should have each others backs no matter if they are atheist, gay, mental, stupid, or broken. We are all sinners. We are all on the same level.
My point? If you have gone through the same thing that someone is talking about, if you understand the situation, or if you care about humanity at all.... Help each other. Have sympathy. Be human. Don't take advantage of the situation and act perfect because you see a struggling person. Be humble and love.
"For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God's glorious standard." (Romans 3:23)