Episode 109 – Feeling vs. Fixing

Key Passage(s): Mark 9:14-29

Life can be gut-wrenching. And when the bottom falls out, we need people who know how to hold and honor our pain. Unfortunately, most of us don’t know how to respond well to the feeling of pain for others. In this episode we explore Jesus’s response to a desperate situation in Mark 9. His first impulse wasn’t to fix the pain, but to feel the pain. And if we can emulate this in our lives, we’ll understand how to serve one another well, especially in difficult seasons. 

Discussion Questions

  • What was your biggest takeaway from the teaching? 
  • Have you experienced a time when someone engaged your pain with empathy and honored it well? 
  • Why do you think our first impulse as human beings is often to try and fix things? 
  • How would you describe the difference between sympathy and empathy? 
  • Is there anyone in your sphere of influence right now who’s hurting and could use an empathetic presence? What’s one concrete empathetic action you could take to feel instead of fix them? 
  • How will you begin living out the truths of this teaching this week?  

For Further Study


  1. Brad, I loved your lesson today and it truly rang home for me. My husband and I are Stephen Leaders at our church. The principles that you described are the same as we were taught and that we teach our Stephen Ministers. We need to stop, listen and just be there to help others who are hurting. It’s amazing how much this works for those experiencing loss in their lives, which can be for multiple reasons.
    We often tell our Care Receivers that we get so much more out of this ministry than we give. It’s doing the work and caring of Jesus that makes us happy and whole. God’s Blessings!

  2. Thank you for this teaching. It’s making me reconsider a conversation I had the other day. I had the opportunity to listen but unfortunately went into fix it mode. I realize you can’t change what you won’t admit so I’m praying the Lord will expand my ability to have empathy and care for others like He does!

  3. I am naturally a fixer. I am going to work hard to feel before or if at all, fix. When my attempt to fix fails, I get really down on myself, feeling like a failure. What great lessons Jesus left for us to learn and walk out daily. Thank you for this teaching Brad!

  4. Brad as a mom of a college freshman, this resonates. I want to be there and yet know I must let go for him to fix things and just be one who feels.

Leave a Reply