Friday, January 9, 2015

What Not to Say to Someone Who is Suffering or Hurting

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.  - Colossians 4:6

I was inspired to write the following after reading an article in “Psychology Today.” My illness has made me the recipient of potentially harmful advice from well intended people. I thank God that I love to read and mediated on the pages of God’s Word, therefore, I am at a place where I know what to receive and what to disregard.  As  Christians, we are called to serve others. We must be helpers and not hurters to those who seek our help. Consider the following:

What Not to Say to Someone Who is Suffering or Hurting

“I know how you feel.” – You may have been through a similar situation, but you cannot get into the mind of the person you are helping. We all process pain differently. You don’t know how another person feel emotional, physically, or spiritually.

“You are not going to die. You will be okay.” – Dying is not a bad thing. The Bible says to die is gain. Victory can come through death. Don’t offer false hope for the sake of encouragement. You don’t know how God will work in someone’s life. Don’t suggest you have fate all figured out.

“If you need anything give me a call.” Most of us have probably been guilty of saying this someone in need. The statement is vague and places the burden of effort on an already burdened person. Instead, be specific. Ask questions like 1) When can I bring over a meal? 2) When can I come over to clean the house? 3) What items do you need that I can purchase to help with your life?
“You Know Your (insert family member) Loves You.” – Don’t project your healthy family experience onto others. There are adults who are products of abusive and unloving parents. This statement could be enraging.

1 comment:


    Why are there so many different doctrines taught in churches that claim to be churches of the Lord Jesus Christ? One reason is that the majority of those who claim Jesus as Lord and Savior do not believe that the Bible is the accurate word of God. That is an undeniable fact.

    If you do not trust that the Bible is the accurate word of God, then you are at the mercy of denominational church teachings. Are Bible commentaries, church creed books, and books written about the Bible more trustworthy than the Bible?

    Proverbs 30:5 Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him. (NKJV)

    When men deny that the Bible is God's accurate word, how can they put their trust in Him? They are by default putting their trust in church leaders, church creed books, Bible commentaries, and other extra-Scriptural sources.

    Proverbs 30:6 Do not add to His words, Lest He reprove you, and you be found a liar.(NKJV)

    If you are trusting a church creed book that changes the word of God, will you be reproved by God and found to be a liar? If your creed book does not change the teachings of the Bible, then why would you need a creed book? Why not simply trust the written word of God?

    In the final analysis men have to trust the Bible to be the accurate word of God or they have to trust man-made doctrines as their rules for faith and practice.