Caring, being empathetic, is good but is it enough? If you’re moved to act but don’t, maybe a look at what holds you back is in order.

John 11: 35-37, 35 Jesus wept. 36 Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” 37 But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?” 

Two Different Kinds of People 

If you’ve been around people at all you begin to realize there are different schools of thought when it comes to helping others. Some people value the empathy and care shown from one person to another while others are all about taking action. For some, the display of caring and caring deeply is valued while others consider caring without action just not enough. I will admit to falling into the latter camp but only because for many years I was in the former.

Caring but not Acting 

By nature I am a very empathetic person. I care a lot for people. However, in the past that caring occurred without action, without even so much as a public display. I would never have allowed myself to weep in public. That would have been much too embarrassing and exposed my private feelings to the world. So, I cared very much but no one else knew. Some song about keeping a light under a bushel comes to mind.

Moved to Act 

It’s only been relatively recently that I have summoned the courage to let others know that I cared. Now, I’m not weeping in public, we’re talking baby steps here. Think: a pat on the back, a complement for someone’s service or efforts and (gasp) occasionally a hug as the measure of my progress. I’ve been encouraged to continue showing care because of the responses of those I’ve reached out to. The sincere appreciation and thanks of those folks convinces me that I should have been doing this all along. Still, I know my small steps sometimes won’t measure up to the expectations of others.

Falling Short 

Some people are just never satisfied, much like those who want to tear down people who publicly do good things. People show something good about themselves, even something magnanimous and there is always someone who will say, “If they did that, why didn’t they also do this.” It’s incredible to me that often this judgment comes from those who make no attempts, show no care and content themselves with standing back and taking pot shots. Jesus, for all he did, was criticized for not doing more. In their eyes he fell short.


We know, from reading forward in this passage, that Jesus makes this second group of people eat their words. We should never forget however, the scrutiny with which the Son of God was judged. The fact that our savior was found lacking in the eyes of the people of his time should give us encouragement. When we feel that we are “not enough” or perceive that others view our efforts as falling short we should take heart. Our Lord caught the same shade in his day but the final scorecard showed him to be a rock star and one worthy of high praise indeed.

Something to think about 

What holds you back from showing how much you care? What keeps you from taking action? I’d like to know your thoughts on this topic if you’re willing to share and maybe how you’ve overcome the urge to not do anything.


I really appreciate you sharing your experiences surrounding this topic. Maybe some of your friends might get something out of it also? If you think so, please send this along. We’ve put the social icons below. 

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