"He (Abraham Lincoln) won because he possessed an extraordinary ability to put himself in the place of other men, to experience what they were feeling, to understand their motives and desires." Those words, from Doris Kearns Goodwin's book, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, reveal part of Lincoln's genius expressed through the virtue - empathy.
Interestingly, empathy was listed as one of the two essential traits of a good salesman (What Makes a Good Salesman" Harvard Business Review, July/August 2006, 164-171). "Empathy, the important central ability to feel as the other fellow does in order to be able to sell him a product or service, must be possessed in large measure."
As Jesus walked the earth, He demonstrated empathy - identifying hurting people, feeding them, healing them, loving them. The ultimate of "putting himself in someone else's place" was demonstrated on the cross. He was not motivated as a politician or a businessman, but by love.
Most of my days are motivated by my own tasks and agendas - not "putting my feet in the other guy's shoes". Yet God calls me to a privilege higher than any task or any self-made agenda.
"Rejoice with those who rejoice, mourn with those who mourn."(Romans 12:15)
"Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ."(Galatians 6:2)
Will you join me in looking, identifying and responding to other's needs?