He sat in the ashes and rubbed the oozing wounds with a shard of pottery. Once a wealthy man, Job mourned alone in the city’s garbage heap.
After God and Satan met in the heavenly court, the enemy set his sights on Job. Determined to prove that the man would remain faithful to the Lord only while he hid in blessings, Satan killed Job’s ten adult children and hired men to destroy Job’s source of property and wealth. and attacked Job with boils that festered from head to heel. Job was grief-stricken. The Bible says that the three friends “came with him, mourned with him, and made an appointment together to comfort him.”Job 2:11 NKJV). If you’ve read the entire story, you know that things didn’t go as planned.
This story of Job and his friends raises an important question: Should Christians say something to those who are grieving? If so, what can we say? When should we refrain from saying anything to someone who is grieving?
This article explores these questions and some others.
What to say to someone who is grieving can be harmful?
I read the Book of Job as part of my annual Bible reading plan. It always amazes me a little how quickly Job’s friends turn their goal of helping him into words of condemnation.The verse where they switch attitudes reminds me of a Bible verse that goes like this: Romans 12:15 (NKJV), “Rejoice with those who rejoice, cry with those who weep”, Ephesians 4:32 (NKJV), “And be kind to each other, wholeheartedly….”
The word translated “kind-hearted” comes from the original word. Youth Pragnos in short bowel level empathy and compassion. Gut-level compassion reaches to the core of our experiences and personal pain. Promotes understanding and helps us relate to the experiences of others. Such heartfelt empathy does not belittle, ignore, or judge the grief someone suffers.
A few years ago, a friend lost his teenage son to suicide. A gentleman we knew of her approached her and said with her bright smile, “He’s in a better place.” My friend turned white and tried to reply, but she was visibly uncomfortable. and his son’s death were neglected.
Although well-intentioned, many other clichés can provoke anger or hurt someone who is already hurt. They include:
1. “God needed another angel.” Not only is this statement theologically unsound, God does not need people. (Acts 17:25) Instead, we are his unique creations in need of him.
2. “The Lord never gives us more than we can handle.” If we can manage our lives, why should we look to God? And those of us who have lost loved ones know that death is unbearable.
3. “I understand how you feel.” Everyone has their own way of coping with grief. Others can empathize, but the bereaved may feel misunderstood if they assume someone else’s feelings.
4. “You are young. You can [get married again], [have another baby] [insert other “you can do it again” action here]” Youth does not diminish the effect of death on the mind. People are not replaceable commodities. Grief, though uncomfortable, must be given a place for those in mourning to process the loss.
4. “Time heals all wounds” The tender thoughts of mourning eventually replace the raw pain that remains when death occurs, but the absence you feel when a dear person dies remains.
5. “At least they’re not in pain anymore.” If the deceased was a believer, family and friends will finally find comfort in knowing that their loved ones are in heaven with the Lord. But do you say this immediately after the death of a loved one? They are in pain. Empathizing with their situation would make a much more positive difference.
What can you say to help someone who is grieving?
Words that are thoughtless and arrogant are devastating, but words of empathy are often comforting as they soothe bleeding wounds.think of the words below can help grieving person.
1. “I’m here for you. Why don’t I (fill in the blank). Examples include watching the kids on Wednesday, organizing a meal train this month, and picking up the laundry on Saturday. In the immediate aftermath of a death or funeral, those left behind may find it difficult to concentrate, deal with depression and anxiety, and need help with household chores as life enters a new rhythm.
2. “It must be very painful to lose ____________.” Blog post by funeral and cremation services Tippecanoe Memory Gardens observe An important key to expressing empathy is showing the grieving person that you understand their feelings. I will tell you.
3. “Would you like to talk about how you’re feeling today?” This question puts into dialogue and a sound voice of difficult emotions that mourners may experience inner isolation.
4. “I remember when we were all….” Sharing special memories and traits with grieving family and friends can lift them up during dark times.
5. “I want to know more about ____________. Tell me about them.” Avoid mentioning the names of deceased loved ones. Instead, invite your friends over and talk about them. Invitations are welcome.
6. “I can imagine how hard this is.” Not all situations are the same, but we all experience or will experience emotional pain, such as the searing grief that comes with death. If you haven’t experienced such a loss yet, you can at least put yourself in a similar position.
When you shouldn’t say anything to someone who is grieving
Some situations require wisdom and careful assessment.As Proverbs 15:2 (NKJV) reminds us, “A wise man’s tongue puts knowledge to good use, but a fool’s mouth pours out folly.”
In Job’s situation, his companions initially joined him in his pain. I cried, mourned, and sat in the dust with my bereaved friends for the traditional days. They empathized through both action and silent presence. But when each person opens their mouth? The stabbing words pierced Job as much as the wounds Satan inflicted on him.
Job’s companions expected encouragement and instead gave him pain. Sometimes you need to say nothing in order not to add to someone’s emotional distress. Some general guidelines to consider include:
– know yourself
– Get to know the bereaved
– Know the needs of the situation
Are we redundant or known to exaggerate? Do we tend to compare when friends and family go through difficult situations? If so, it may be best to choose another way of expressing your care and concern.
Is the person grieving a strange colleague in a remote part of the building? Many of the personal statements in the previous section may seem dishonest. At the same time, avoiding co-workers out of discomfort seems inconsiderate, but group sympathy cards and flowers can effectively convey compassion.
When heartache and loss are involved, there is no need to be cautious.As Aaron Danthony Brown “Less is more,” says wisely, “the more grief you have, the less you say it.”
How can you use your actions to communicate something to someone who is grieving?
When my friend lost her son, I was hurt for her. Her one of my kids was battling mental health issues, but her friend and I were praying for each other. It was not hard to imagine myself mourning by the grave of my child.
A few months after my girlfriend’s son died, she asked if she wanted to be part of her son’s “team” on a suicide awareness walk. rice field. She was like a stream filled with laughter at times when she recounted her favorite moments with Tucker. Other times, her raw pain rages on like a summer storm, bringing sudden catharsis.
While I have been invited to support my grieving companions through one specific action, other helpful actions include:
– take care of pets
– garden work
– car maintenance
– grocery shopping
– meal preparation
– sit together
– Donations to causes supported by the deceased
What is the most important thing we can do for someone who is grieving?
of Sacred Sorrow: Reaching out to God with Lost LamentationsMichael Card wrote: Jesed On the way back to the loving-kindness of his being. ”
We can offer comfort to the bereaved through words of hope, acts of service, or listening. To point out is the pattern that the Bible offers.
Use prayerwe seek divine intervention far more powerful than ourselves.
Photo credit: ©GettyImages/Drazen Zigic
Tammy Kennington He is a writer and speaker familiar with the impact of trauma, chronic illness, and parenting in difficult places. Her heart is to lead women from hardship to hope.You can meet her on Tammy’s blog www.tammykennington.com She will send you an e-book. Moving From Pain To Peace – A Journey To Hope When The Past Owns You.