Saturday, September 15, 2012

Ten Sinful Things to Say to a Person in Pain

At any time in the life of a family, church neighborhood and workplace there are members who are suffering. The pain can come from emotional, relational, physical, financial or spiritual causes. the source can be simple, obvious or hidden.

It is easy to sin against a person in pain. It happens every day. The Bible says that "Life and death are in the way we speak to others" and I know I have been guilty of hurting the people I love as well as strangers.

It happens by the callous, hurtful, derogatory and prideful things we say to them and the ways we look at them or talk to others about them.  I will list some of the most egregious sins against others but I am sure you have many more examples from your own life. I have some personal stories to illustrate how  people sinned against me when I was sick, depressed, upset and grieving. You can  comment or add to the list with your personal stories.

The #1 way to sin against a person in pain: Imply or declare that "God is trying to teach them a lesson". To act like we know the purposes and plans of God in our own life is presumptuous but to say we know why another person is suffering is doubly so. Romans 8:26 says clearly that we do not even know how to pray for ourselves let alone how to assess another person's pain. How can I possibly know the will of God in your sickness?

The weaknesses, problems and pains we see in others are often a projection of what God is working out in us. So, it is wise to withhold all judgments about what God is up to when a person is ill lest we reveal our own faults.The very best thing to say is NOTHING! Listen, for Heaven's Sake. Get our book Hope and Change for Humpty Dumpty for the best way to minister to hurting friends.

Gary Sweeten

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