When we do a movement, certain neurons in our brain will activate. This is well known. What is less known is an interesting recent discovery that convincingly demonstrated that when we observe the same movement in another person, some of these same neurons may also activate, mirroring the activity that is being observed. The term, mirror neuron, was coined. Some scientists have theorized that mirror neurons are essential for human development. It may explain complex behaviors such as how babies can mimic the actions and emotions of their parents. What about negative experiences? If we see someone else suffering, we may experience the same sensation and may explain our feelings of empathy. Is there a spiritual application?
Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, did not merely empathize with our sufferings. He took them upon Himself and nailed them to the Cross as He bore the full weight of all sin that has ever or will be committed. Mirror neurons may be involved in how we can empathize with the suffering of others. However, only the supernatural intervention of the power of the Resurrection through faith and belief in Jesus Christ could allow Jesus to share our suffering. Can we also share in His suffering and if so, why would we choose to do this?
I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!
Philippians 3:10-11 (NLT)
Can suffering ever be good for us? It can be when we share in the sufferings of Jesus Christ and learn obedience to grow in faith. No one enjoys suffering but once the trial is over, we may sometimes be able to look back and realize that it was beneficial because of the lessons that we learned. God states that suffering is good for us if it teaches us to pay attention to His teachings.
My suffering was good for me, for it taught me to pay attention to your decrees. Your instructions are more valuable to me than millions in gold and silver.
Psalms 119:71-72 (NLT)
Mirror neurons may help us to understand how we can empathize with others and share in their suffering. However, only faith and belief in Jesus Christ will enable one to share in His suffering to bring healing and salvation to a lost and hurting world.
Love and trust in the Lord; seek His will in your life.