Sooner or later one of our friends will have a tragedy enter their life. It could be the loss of a spouse, child, job, or their health. There are many well meaning Christians who want to help, but don’t know exactly what to do or what to say.
DON’T! Don’t go spiritual or Bible on them. When a Christian is suffering they probably already know the texts you might mention, but there is something to be said for knowing what to say and WHEN to say it.
For instance… don’t tell people after a tragedy “Well you know God causes all things to work together!” Don’t say, “Well you know God is in control of all things!” Don’t say, “You know you’ll need to be strong for others.”
If you say any of those things you should be made to sit in a corner.
But there is a passage I suggest you read to them. After Job lost all his property… assets… and children, in the space of afew minutes, Job reacted. Consider what is found in Job 1:20 and following…
Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. 21 And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” 22 In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.
God gives us emotions to help us heal. There is nothing wrong or sinful about grief. Especially for Christians! Consider…
We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers… that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.
Did you catch that… as others do who have no hope! Christians CAN grieve AND be hopeful AT THE SAME TIME! It is possible to be “sorrowful yet always rejoicing!”
How is that Christians (!) can endure tragedy and difficulty and yet not be destroyed emotionally and psychologically. It is because our hope (What we tie our self worth and well being to) is not tied to this world. Christians live with a heavenly mindset (CLICK HERE!). We have set our mind… heart… emotions… self esteem… and joy on eternity where Jesus is!
So what do we do in the first few moments when a tragedy hits in a friend’s life? Go to them… love them… cry with them… pray with them… just be there. Then at some point, you will have opportunity to share truth that will strengthen them.