Everybody has a different way of mourning.
Some stay quiet and to themselves, blocking out the world. Some try to brush it off and hang out with friends, so they don’t feel the pain so strongly. Some laugh it off, pretending they don’t care. Yet still others take you into their confidence and tell you all that they are thinking.There is no “one-size-fits-all” when it comes to comforting your hurting friend. Everyone is different and has different problems. Click To Tweet
There is no “one-size-fits-all” when it comes to comforting your hurting friend. Everyone is different and has different problems.
But whether your friend is going through a health challenge or just lost a loved one, there are ways to comfort your grieving friend in a Christ-like manner.
1. Show, Don’t Tell
Don’t immediately quote a ton of Bible verses to your grieving friend. I know, I know, I just said that there are ways to handle your friend’s grief in a “Christ-like” manner, and what’s more Christ-like than scripture verses? But the Bible doesn’t say to text your hurting friend every scripture verse you know about “staying strong” and “having faith” the second difficulty hits them.
That’s because if your friend has just lost a loved one, or is going through a difficult time, they may be struggling with some confusion or even anger toward God. Most likely, if you quote a bunch of Bible verses at them, they will just feel frustrated and hurt that you aren’t sympathizing with them, making them feel that maybe God doesn’t sympathize with them either.
But, if you weep with them, and are there for them, you are showing them the compassion and love of Jesus. As a Christian, you’re showing them that their pain not only breaks your heart, but it breaks God’s heart, too.
Romans 12:15 says, “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.”
In your friend’s grief, they do not feel strong. They feel saddened and weary.
They might even feel betrayed by God or doubt their faith.
There is a quote by Betty Greene, a missionary pilot, that goes, “When people’s emotions are involved, they don’t want to listen.”
This means that one of the best things you can do is show the compassion and love of God. There is a time for Bible verses, but what your friend may need most right now is to know that there is still Someone out there who cares deeply for them—Jesus. Let your friend know He is there for them, by being there for them yourself. Don’t quote them Jesus. Show them Jesus.What your friend needs is to know that there is Someone who cares deeply for them—Jesus. Let your friend know He is there for them, by being there for them yourself. Don’t quote them Jesus. Show them Jesus. Click To Tweet
2. Be a Willing Listener
Listening is one of the best ways to show a friend that you truly care about them and the difficulty they are going through.
Be intentional to call or facetime them. Make a date to go to the local coffee shop with them and just listen. Let your friend pour out their heart to you and share their troubles. Let them reminisce about the person they lost or express their fears about their health challenge. Nothing shows that someone cares about you more than when they take time out of their day to just sit and listen to you cry your heart out.
By being a willing listener, you’re giving your friend the gift of having a safe place to process their pain and feel heard and understood.
3. Offer Quiet Companionship
If your friend isn’t one for sharing emotions verbally, or just isn’t ready to talk about it yet, getting together with them is still a good option.
Give them a hug, buy them a coffee, and sit down next to each other. Maybe watch their favorite movie or play a board game. You could even offer to come over and quietly help them with their chores.Sometimes, all a person needs to know is that someone is there for them, willing to stick around even when life is messy and painful. Click To Tweet
Sometimes, all a person needs to know is that someone is there for them, willing to stick around even when life is messy and painful.
4. Pray and Keep Praying
The most important thing you can do as a Christian is pray for your friend. Pray and ask God to comfort their hurting heart, to give them peace, and to help them feel His presence. God will listen to you.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7
Prayer is even more important when your grieving friend is not a Christian. Not only does it provide an opportunity to help them with their pain and show them you are there; but it opens up the opportunity for God to come in and be there for them too. And He is the comfort your friend truly needs.
As Priscilla Shirer says, “Prayer is what opens up the floodgates for God to come down and be involved in our everyday circumstances.”
Christ Enables Us to Comfort OthersComforting a hurting friend might seem daunting. But because we have Christ in us, we have access to a greater comfort than what this world offers. Click To Tweet
Comforting a hurting friend might seem daunting. But because we have Christ in us, we have access to a greater comfort than what this world offers. Because of Jesus and the comfort He has given us, we can comfort those who are in any affliction.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” – 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (emphasis added).
No matter what kind of grief your friend is going through, showing them the love of Christ, being willing to listen to them, offering them quiet companionship, and praying for them are four of the best, and most important, ways to comfort them.