When our friends are hurting, there is always pressure to find the right thing to say. I’ve always had good intentions when I’ve said, “I’m praying for you” and “there is a reason for everything.” However, these statements can do more harm than good. When someone is truly experiencing hardship they don’t want to hear in that moment that there is a reason. They sometimes can’t even stomach that thought if they are going through loss.
I used to be the queen of these trite “Christian comfort sayings,” until my college professor told me to shut up.
Just BEING THERE will do more for them than your words can.
My professor spoke from experience. He had lost his daughter in a tragic accident a few years prior and said he was choking on the number of trite Christian sayings that were coming his way. Eventually, the Christian statements that were meant to help and heal actually started to make him angry. The people that did the most good to help and heal his family’s hurt were those who were just present. Friends who came over to his house to clean, cook, or just sit in silence with him were those that he said helped the most.
We don’t have to know what to say! What a burden that lifts off our backs.
God sometimes speaks through us to comfort, but often he calls us to shut our mouths and BE PRESENT for those who are hurting.
To learn more about What Not to Say When Your Friends are Hurting check out this article.
Photo credit: Geoff LMV and flickr.com