We do a HORRIBLE job of consoling people who are grieving and hurting. It doesn’t really matter what the loss is about – we suck at consoling.
When a loved one passes away how many people say, “I’m sorry for your loss”?
Why? Didja kill him?
Or consider how we treat couples who have lost a child…. God did not “take the baby because He wanted him in heaven.” That is not only stupid and hurtful – it is bad theology.
The next time you have an opportunity to talk to someone suffering through a loss, think about what you say and the significance of your words.
Think before you speak – if you even speak at all.
Remember, it’s not about making yourself feel better in the situation – it’s about bringing comfort and compassion to the one hurting.
9 Replies to “Christians Don’t Do a Good Job of Consoling Others…”
Well said Chris, “it’s not about making YOURSELF feel better in the situation – it’s about bringing comfort and compassion to the one hurting.” Far too often, though it’s almost innocently unknown to us, it is all about US wanting or needing to “identify” with someone else’s tragedy and make ourselves feel better or somehow validated and important by saying that, or feeling like we have to even say anything at all, like you said. Boy, that was a really long sentence 😉 Oops.
🙂 thx for reading
I think this is rooted in a larger problem, which is the belief that “God is in control”. If you believe that then you’re more likely to have a need to come up with a defense for why awful things happen on His watch all the time, and thus all of the cliches of comfort. I grew up in the word of faith movement, which was even worst for comforting. It was always your fault for the calamity that befell you.
Ah yes, the “if you were righteous this wouldn’t have happened” line. The story of Job shoots that crummy line down. God can still be in control even when bad things happen to good people. His ultimate control doesn’t = his causation of pain and suffering…
You’d have to be part of the WOF movement to know this. But they actually teach that Jobs fear is what brought on his family’s destruction “The thing that I fear most has come upon me”. This was his admittance that he had no faith and thus God could not help him.
I didn’t know that. So we bring good and bad on ourselves based on our belief. That’s a heavy (and false) load to bear.
Sometimes the only thing you can do and what they really want is a shoulder and an ear to bend. Good reminder.
Yes – simply being present to suffer alongside of or to cry with can be better than any words we might think of…