How to help a friend who’s hurting
From Colossians: A 28-Day Devotional
In Colossians 4:11, Paul thanks the believers who comforted him in his time of need. None of us has experienced first-century imprisonment, but we all know what it’s like to go through a tough time. So how can we, like the believers in the early church, help fellow Christians who are going through difficulty?
- Don’t be overly enthusiastic. Proverbs 25:20 says, "Like one who takes away a garment on a cold day, or like vinegar poured on a wound, is one who sings songs to a heavy heart." Instead, a quick hello of any form is deeply meaningful, reminding the person you do care.
- Don’t forget the person who is hurting. Follow up with a note, visit, or email, realizing that all may not be well within a few months or even years. Your patience with the healing process is a great encouragement to the broken.
- Don’t reach out begrudgingly; your hurting person can tell! You will be rewarded for your tender encouragement to other believers, so be joyful about it.
God will not forget "your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them" (Hebrews 6:10).
Loving other believers is ultimately a way to love God, in fulfillment of the two greatest commandments — to love God with your whole heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:28-31).
- How have you experienced God’s love through others during a hard time?
- Who do you know who is in a dark place? What is one way you love that person well today?
- Do you know someone who has an ongoing struggle? What would it look like to care for that person over a longer period of time?