Lately a lot of people around me are suffering tremendously and it seems like I keep finding myself at a loss for words as to what to say to help comfort them. I also find myself feeling so sad about their circumstances that I find myself becoming overwhelmed. Just recently I felt so overwhelmed by this that I bought a book that I had heard would help me know how to deal with this sort of thing better. I read in a book that it was not my job to take on another person’s burden or grief…that denying myself to do for others what they cannot do for themselves was showing the sacrificial love of Christ… Huh? Yes those were real words right out of the book and they made no sense to me. What did make sense is that I felt those words were wrong and go against everything I have read in the Bible and it disturbed me terribly when I read that, it also disturbs me that this is a very popular Christian book with outstanding reviews.
Some people who read the book may choose to believe it but I decided to investigate some of the scripture they quoted that supposedly backed what they were teaching. The more I investigated the more I realized that they had took a lot of the scripture and then used it around their own words to make it say what they were writing in this book. Being still kinda new to the Bible this is hard for me to take and I do not know if they purposely are misleading people or if maybe I just do not understand it the way they do.
I have been thinking about this for quite some time now and decided that I think it is best for me to choose to believe what I feel like God wants me to see. So I have decided to go with only what God has written in his book (The Bible) and what I feel the Holy spirit has put on my heart. I do agree with them when they say we should give people up to God because it is true we do have to give people up to God because they do belong to him. But I do not see how walking away when they are hurting will help them and that does not show the sacrificial love of Jesus. The day I can shove someone off when they are hurting is a sad sad day. It would not only be the day I helped add to someone’s pain but also the day I would realize I was not doing the job God intended for me to do and that would burden my heart terribly. It really bothers me that someone has written a book that tells people its okay to selfishly walk away from what God has put in front of them to do. I am not saying we have to be a doormat but sometimes doing the work of God is inconvenient and will turn our own lives upside down but I believe we are called to help anyway.
Jesus gave everything for me so why would I think I could get by and not turn my own life upside down for other people? Isn’t that what the Bible teaches us is to love God first and then to love our neighbor as we love ourselves? I don’t see it saying love ourselves first.
Mark 12:30-31 – Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
Matthew 22:37-40 – Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Some people may think I am wrong… but anyway this is what I feel like God wants me to do. I hope that the other people who read that book did not just take everything it said as truth without looking up the facts.
With that being said and because this post is not a book review here is what this post is really about….
What do I say that to someone who is in the middle of a crisis such as …watching a family member die or maybe they received a cancer diagnosis? I have no idea what to say that would make them feel better.
Yesterday I found myself with a person who was very sad and them being sad made me sad. I wanted to help but did not have any idea what to say that would help them to feel better.
Have you ever seen a person who was running away from God instead of running to God in a time of crises? Sometimes they will avoid going to church during those times. Have you ever wanted to tell someone that if they would come to church and be in fellowship with people who loved them that they would feel much better? I truly do believe that most of the time person will feel better if they went to church, but the problem is how do say that to someone without sounding like I am scolding them for not coming to church? Besides a person does not have to be in church to find God… but for me being in church is what works best.
I think sometimes it is hard to know the right thing to say to comfort someone. I tend to try to see the best things in a bad situation and want so bad to tell hurting people to try to find the joy in the bad situation and look toward that. Though I know that is true and it works for me I don’t dare say that to someone who is hurting…unless I know that person well enough to know that is what works for them.
I think we Christians can be really annoying with stuff like that especially to those who are not Christians. I know this to be true because that kind of stuff has been said to me and I will admit it….I was annoyed!
Back to yesterday….
So yesterday there I was with this very sad and distraught person feeling like I needed to say something brilliant… Something that would make them feel so much better and those annoying things … ‘look to the joy’… ‘come to church’… etc…etc…wanted to come popping out of my mouth.
Because I didn’t really have anything brilliant to say that will make them feel better.
And I never will have it…
Only Jesus has it…
I can’t fix it…
Only Jesus can fix it…
But how do I say this without offending them???
Maybe I really don’t have to say anything at all. Maybe all I have to do is be there for them and listen to them instead of trying to fix it for them.
Could it be that they just needed a friend? Maybe to know someone will listen to them? To know that somebody cares?
Could it be that they just really need to know that it is okay to feel sad sometimes?
I get sad all the time.
Yes I said it, Christians get sad…. And guess what???
It is okay! Just because I have Jesus does not mean I am happy all the time.
Its okay for people to be sad because the truth is everyone gets sad, everyone gets angry; everyone hits that place of desperation from time to time where we just do not feel joyful.
People get sick, people die, people lose jobs, and relationships fall apart. It’s true… sometimes some really rotten things happen. We live in a messed up world and though I do know there is so much more that is good in this world than there is that is bad, please do not tell me about it when I am hurting! We should not make someone feel as if they should be ashamed for feeling sad.
How do we go about helping someone who is hurting? The truth is I don’t really have the answer to that question. All I do know is what does or does not work on me. I know I can’t do a whole lot to help someone other than pray and try my best to be there for them.
I do know that people do need to turn to Jesus when they are hurting and I think showing a person Jesus in action would work a whole lot better than just telling them about him. I also think most of all its important to let people know that it is okay to be sad and that Jesus knows they are sad and that he also feels their pain and he will be there with them the whole time and never let them go.
At times I think we all may feel like we are flailing around all alone but really we are never alone. Jesus is always here with us and but sometimes a person can get so low that they may not see him so clearly because their pain is so thick. I think that its during those times that he shows himself by sending us the kindness of a friend.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 – Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Will you be a friend and help give someone hope by showing Jesus to them today?
Galatians 6:2 – Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
You don’t need to worry about having the words, all you need is to just be there.
1 John 3:18 – Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
Thank you for reading and have a blessed day,