Are Empaths Biblical?
Are you the type who feels deeply? Perhaps you’re highly sensitive to the feelings and moods of others. You may even get over-stimulated often and need a lot of alone time to regenerate. You could be considered what many would call an empath. And for all intents and purposes, one would likely call me an empath.
So what is an empath? Well, in the dictionary an empath is defined as a person with the paranormal ability, to apprehend the mental or emotional state of another individual chiefly in science fiction and paranormal activity is encompassing term that includes not only ghosts, hauntings, and demonic activity, but also other unexplainable phenomena such as unidentified flying objects, and extrasensory perception ESP, just to name a few. Much of the paranormal activity we see today is actually a total hoax.
But if there is paranormal activity, it’s coming from demons and as Christians, we should not be intrigued with or drawn to this type of activity, but rather turn from it as it is part of a spiritual battle that is taking place in the Heavenly Realms. Ephesians. 4:27 says, “Give no place to the devil.”
So, let’s take some of the qualities that cause you to believe that you’re an empath and examine them biblically.
Trait #1 – Highly intuitive. Those who believe they are empaths would describe themselves as having high intuition. Well, the truth is that the Bible never mentions intuition. In fact, it tells us not to trust ourselves. Jeremiah 17:9 says “the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately sick, who can understand it.”
One site describes empaths as clairsentient. They went on to define it as this clairsentient is the most common of the four clairs of intuition with messages coming through as feelings. In the case of empaths, they are naturally strong in the clairsentient or feeling psychic pathway. Does this sound biblical to you?
Trait #2 – Highly in tune with others. Those who consider themselves empaths pride themselves on being able to feel others emotions, and they often described themselves as having the ability to know what someone is feeling. They’ll often use words like we’re so connected. And the claim that empaths can perceive the physical sensitivities of others is a characteristic shared by many in the occult. No one except God has the ability to perceive the motivations and intentions of someone else. You can find this in Psalm 139, John 2:25, 1st Corinthians 2:10-11. 1 Corinthians 2:11 says this,” who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them.”
We are not given that insight. Sometimes these perceived abilities are a manifestation of learned codependent behaviors. So every person I have ever met, who calls themselves an empath actually displays codependent traits. Now, on the other side, it is possible that God has given you a gift of discernment, but the enemy is looking to distort it.
Trait #3 – Often feeling over-stimulated. Those who identify as an empath will often struggle with feeling over-stimulated. They may claim that others negative energy and emotions, could send them into a total tailspin. And while I can agree that there are people out there that are more sensitive than others. I’m being one of them. Low tolerance for external stimuli doesn’t make me a new age empath. It makes me less tolerant to external stimuli and as a unique creation of God, we would do well to honor those limitations, but not put in a cultic name or label on it. And those who feel overly stimulated often need alone time to recharge and believe it or not that’s actually not some super-spiritual or weird thing. It’s actually a classic characteristic of The Melancholy temperament. If you’re not familiar with the temperaments, go ahead and jump on over to these videos here that give you an understanding of just how uniquely made you are
In addition, are you noticing a pattern here? Everything is feelings based. God has given us emotions as indicators, not definers.
Trait #4 – They bond deeply with others. Those who identify as an empath, often complain that they are so easily hurt by others. And this trait, I believe, speaks more to an insecure attachment pattern that they have developed more than it speaks of an empath.
Trait #5 – Natural helpers. Those who consider themselves and perhaps just can’t help but help people. They feel driven to it, but I had this question for you, is it possible that what you believe is an empath is actually the biblical gift of helps be found in 1st Corinthians 12:28, and now the enemy is trying to distort it.
Trait #6 – Feeling lonely and isolated. God has created us all very distinct and different. Psalm. 139:14 says, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully, made.” Some people are outgoing. some are quiet, some are talkers, and some are readers. We are all different, but ask yourself this question. Would you feel lonely and isolated if everyone around, you was the same way as you? The answer is likely not, I found that for many who struggle this way, they’d likely grown-up in an environment or they are currently surrounded by people that are very different than that. And if you grow up with loud, extroverted siblings, and your parents value, that kind of expression, of course, you’re going to feel like an outsider and it makes it worse when they’re critical and cruel about it, but having a temperament that is quieter and more reserved doesn’t make you spiritually gifted in any way.
Trait #7 – Burden bearers. Empaths often say that they just feel this burden for others. My friend, this doesn’t make you an empath, it makes you a burden bearer. And God will often put on your heart’s, a burden, for a person, or a region or people. And the purpose of this is not for you to now keep it to yourself and come under the weight of it and find the solutions to the problems are fix the people or be their savior or just act as if you are a martyr because you’re bearing these burdens. The purpose of this burden is meant to be released to God. Remember that prayer is God’s way of enlisting us in his preordained plan. So these burdens that you may be feeling are actually God trying to get you to pray these through.
Look I could go on but many of the traits that are defining an empath have simply been distorted by the great, counterfeiter himself, Satan. You may have the gift of discernment, the gift of compassion, mercy, burden-bearing, and yes even prophecy. But what you need to know is that the label of an empath is the counterfeit to these gifts, like, psychics are the counterfeit to prophets.
My friend, you’re not an empath, you are a precious child of the Most High God. That is your identity. If you are a child of God, with the gift of and fill in the blank, do your job, is to go use those gifts for the good of others, and the glory of God. Just because you are empathetic doesn’t make you an empath. Empathy is a wonderful gift and it is much needed in the body of Christ. But labeling yourself, as an empath and giving it a reason why you tolerate abuse from other people is not biblical. The truth is that you have been given a unique temperament and spiritual gifts. And your job is to steward those gifts well.
I want you to think of it this way. A telepath is one who is able to hear the thoughts of another. And as a Christian, would you ever call yourself a telepath? Of course not. Then why simply because you have a heightened awareness of the feelings of others and empathy. You call yourself an empath. Now, I know that some of you are feeling like, okay, great, I know that I have some of these gifts and if you recognize that, these gifts are a blessing from God. I want you to go use them for the glory of God, but some of you are saying okay, but my gifts feel more like a burden that I would suggest that you go to seek some healing. Don’t just put a label on it actually go seek healing for some of these areas so God can now fully use you for the good of others and His glory.
But as followers of Christ, let us not conform to the patterns in the customs and the labels of this world to let us be transformed by the renewing of our minds.
So to answer the question, “Are empaths Biblical? No, they are new-age, in other words, they are from the occult. And as much as in the New Age gains, its knowledge and power from demonic sources so does the label of empath. Of course, empathy or the ability to listen to and understand and relate to the emotions of others is a valuable gift and there is nothing unbiblical about the idea of carrying another’s burdens emotionally or otherwise. In fact, you can find that in Galatians 6:2 but God’s spirit is described as the comforter of the suffering but claiming that the powers of an empath go beyond proper compassion and godly sensitivity enters into the realm of the psychic.
And many will argue well aren’t all gifts from Christ? Yes, they are but they’re often abused by demons and misused by people and empath could be a follower of Christ as much as a psychic or medium could. They too actually believe their gifts come from God.
My friends, topics, like this, usually engage in a lively discussion. So let’s go ahead and continue the conversation below or you can follow me on Instagram. I’d love to connect with you there. Are you struggling with toxic people? Maybe it’s a stonewalling husband, a narcissistic mother, or an overbearing boss. Well, I want to invite you to grab a copy of our FREE Toxic People Survival Guide.