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July 28, 2017

July 28, 2017

"Friends Need to Share Your Pain"

“Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down.”  Romans 12: 15 MSG

Paul says that there’s a relationship between joy and sorrow.  When you share a joy it gets doubled; when you share a sorrow it gets halved.  When your friends are going through a crisis, they need you to help to rejoice with them or help them carry the load to lessen the sorrow.  

Have you ever had somebody come up to you and say, “I’m sorry for your sorrow?”  That’s sympathy.  But in crisis people don’t need sympathy.  They need empathy.  Empathy says, “I hurt with you.”  You might view it as sympathy stands at a distance whereas empathy hugs you in love.  

The ultimate form of love is compassion.  We often hear the Bible talk about Jesus having compassion on people.  In that compassion He would do whatever He could do to stop the hurt.  

Interestingly, that included going to the cross.  He was willing to die to stop our hurting.  That’s compassion on steroids.  We are all recipients of that compassion.  Jesus hopes we'll accept it.   

What do true friends do, especially when we’re hurting?  They show up, share the pain and shut up.  They don’t offer pious platitudes about how everything’s going to be fine.  They don’t give advice.  They don’t try to talk you out of his pain.  

They just hug you and say, “We’re going to sit with you.  We’re going to be here for you.  We’re going to hurt with you.”  Then they do one more thing:  they do it!  Actions speak louder than words.   

Peace in the Lord,

Pastor Don