I am excited to introduce you to today’s guest, Chris Morris. He is a CPA by day, a blogger before the sun rises, and a happily married father of 4 all the time. He writes about how faith and real life can collide in the brokenness of life, while still holding on to hope. You can read his blog or follow him on Twitter @sometimeshope.
When a friend is in the midst of deep struggle, it is difficult to know how to be a trustworthy encourager. We don’t always have the answers. On occasion, we don’t have any answers, because it just doesn’t make sense.
Sometimes, the best thing we can say to a friend in pain is nothing at all. Just be there with them, share in their pain by being present. We don’t always have to try to fix the pain, or frame the sorrow, or remind them of God. The words we share to console our friends often do nothing but stir up dissatisfaction.
…Well, you know that God will work this out for good at some point right?
…God still has a wonderful plan for your life.
…Maybe God is trying to get your attention, to root out some sin in your life.
Each time we say something like this, our heart is in the right place. We are trying to comfort our friends. We just aren’t doing it well. Instead of comfort, we might end up increasing sorrow, heaping doubt, or even producing anger in the hearts of those we love.
The funny thing is this – we know that is exactly what we are doing. We have all been on the other end of these well-meaning but misguided attempts at comfort. So why do we do this? Because we fear silence, despite what the Proverbs say:
In the multitude of words sin is not lacking,
But he who restrains his lips is wise.
— Proverbs 10:19
We think that if we say nothing, we have nothing to offer. So often the exact opposite it true. Many times, sitting alongside our friends as they weep amongst the apparent ruins of their lives, commiserating with them, and fiercely giving them a hug is the best thing we can do.
Truly, this is wisdom. We need not run from silence, but instead step into it, and in so doing begin to walk in wisdom. It is this wisdom that will eventually usher in God’s healing and His presence, not our chattering.