3 Ways to Comfort

3 Ways to Comfort a Hurting Friend

"So often people suffer alone because we lack the comforting skills that will give us the confidence to be comforters." Susan Hunt 

Do you know how to respond to a hurting friend? Most of us don't unless we've gone through suffering ourselves (2 Corinthians 1:3-5). 

In Psalm 69:20, the psalmist laments that he looked for comforters but found none -- a common problem.

But this shouldn't happen! Here are some ways anyone can comfort:
  • Be available--Help with physical and emotional needs without making your friend feel they're imposing on your schedule. 
  • Be non-judgmental--Most of us are arrogant enough to think we understand why someone is suffering. We must avoid the trap of becoming a "Job's friend." 
  • Be a listener, not a "fixer"--Too often we think we need to give advice when we simply need to listen, comfort and pray: "Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn." Romans 12:15 
What other tips have you learned about comforting and being comforted? I'd love to have you leave them in a comment.


3 Ways to Comfort a Hurting Friend


Bible Love Notes

4 comments:

  1. Gail, thanks for this! I'm afraid I am too quick to offer solutions to the problems and not only listen to my friends. I appreciate you reminding me of the scripture in Romans to rejoice when it's time for that and mourn during such a time and just let the friend know we care and are concerned. Seems when I'm quick to offer advice, maybe they start to turn away from me because I sound insensitive to their need of being heard.
    Thanks for opening my eyes to this!
    Sister in Him,
    Etta

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    Replies
    1. Hi Etta,
      I've been right there with you. Until I went through some difficulties in my life, I actually thought my friends were wanting advice when they shared a problem. But, when I was struggling with problems, I so appreciated the friends who just listened and prayed for me because the ones giving advice often didn't understand the situation fully. I'm glad this was helpful.
      Have a blessed day,
      Gail

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  2. I have gone thru cancer twice. I found a number of friends who just avoided me as they didn't know what to say. It was more important to me for them to just say they didn't know what to say. I coveted their thoughts, cards and prayers. The lesson I took away from that experience is to ask hurting people - "How can I pray for you?" I'm surprised they open up and share things I would never have dreamed they were concerned about. I also find it's important to follow up not only really praying for that person but also sending a simple email, text or card. Last thing - My cancer treatments stopped two years ago. I'm doing well now. But it does bother me when people come up to me and ask me, "Health-wise. How are you doing?" When I tell them fine, they respond, "Really?" And they give me these puppy dog eyes looking sorrowful that they really believing my cancer was fatal and that it's just a matter of time before it kills me. Gets me anxious that maybe I'm not really OK. Maybe there is some cancer that I don't know about. Please just let me live as a normal person today. If I want to talk about it - I'll bring it up. Please don't keep reminding me for years afterwards! If I've told you I'm doing well health-wise, please don't ask every time you see me.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for sharing these insights. When we have gone through a difficulty, we can see what kind of responses are most helpful.

      Praise God that you are healed of your cancer. Don't let these discouraging looks and comments of others bring you down.

      God bless you!

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