Has anyone ever cheerfully assured you “everything’s going to be fine” or “don’t worry, it’s all going to come out right in the end” when misfortune has befallen you, as if they have an insight into the future that you somehow lack?
Certainly, that person is attempting to encourage you, but by what means?
False assurances. Untruths. Lack of understanding and empathy.
“Like one who takes away a garment on a cold day, or like vinegar poured on soda, is one who sings songs to a heavy heart.” Proverbs 25:20
Shallow, fruitless, tossed-to-the-wind words mean nothing when one is suffering. Words of so-called “wisdom” from the mouths of those who have never likewise suffered hold no substance.
“Like a lame man’s legs that hang limp is a proverb in the mouth of a fool.” Proverbs 26:7
And it reaps the same result for those who speak without knowledge or a deep faith themselves.
If a person hasn’t similarly suffered, what right have they to speak as though they have, thus belittling, through no experience of their own, the other person’s situational anguish?
There is a difference in demeaning- through false assurances- and encouraging a person spiritually.
“Deep calls unto deep.” Deep suffering requires deep counsel.
The greatest thing anyone can do is be available for that person and pray for them… and let them know it. Keep in contact, but know when to keep your distance as well. Be sensitive. Be in tune with the other person’s feelings.
Be real. Don’t be afraid to speak from the heart. Don’t recoil from your own emotions and settle for offering shallow, meaningless words.
The best a person can do is show genuine love.
…And love will do the rest.
Image courtesy of Polyvore.com.